Paris Fashions for November. Source the 1851 Illustrated London News. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Commentary accompanying the illustration

The predominant taste of the day is that of rich stuffs; and the preceding year’s patterns, remarkable for their simplicity, are not sufficient for the gorgeous taste of this year. Older patterns are successfully imitated; and this, added to the fulness of the skirts, almost reminding one of the hoops of last century, completes the revivalism of ancient costume. The materials are lampas, gros de Tours, and figured satins.

Among the handsomest dresses which we have noticed in the shops is a marone satin dress to be trimmed with four flounces. The difference from last year is in the number of flounces: this year it is four instead of three, with which ladies were content last season. These flounces are edged with a strip of plaid velvet, woven with the stuff. Should the flounces not be made use of, the same strips would present themselves, four in number, on a plain but very fall skirt. These stuffs are intended for high dresses; and the plaid strips are so arranged, that sufficient is found to trim the body, the small skirts, and sleeves. Another stuff, reps, bears the same ornament, and can be found of all the shades in vogue, the strips being varied according to the shade of the ground. A gros bleu satin, for the front of the dress, has a very rich velvet pattern, same shade, apron-shaped; and edgings of the same pattern are formed in the stuff for trimming the body and sleeves. These dresses, which, a few years back, were only intended for soiries, are now worn for visiting and the promenade. The gros de Tours stuffs are remarkable for their richness, and the fulness of the folds; also by the variety of patterns, such as detached bouquets with a thousand varied hues, and wreaths blooming with all the vivacity of natural flowers. Next to these three magniflcent stuffs, which will take the lead in fashion, there are also taffetas, and velours de la Reine, or Queen's velvet, which is plain. Silk and woollen popeline is both worn plain or plaided. There is also a new kind of popeline, called double-ribbed; for the woof really has that effect. At present, we know nothing new in merino stuffs, which are all plain: still, we should mention a novelty in this texture. There are merinos with running patterns, spots, or losenges ; and with stripes, for the front of the dress; these stuffs, however, can be used only for dressing-gowns. Valencias are also fashionable for morning dresses. Bonnets have not altered their shape generally as yet, with the exception of this innovation: the crowns are plain capote-shaped; the stuff alone forming the crown, and preserving all its suppleness.

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"Fashions for November." Illustrated London News (1 November 1851): 540.

Last modified 28 November 2015