FASHIONS, for July-An newspaper article detailing the fashions for the Summer of 1906!

by niamh mccabe on July 3, 2006

Kildare Observer 14/7/1906
Fashions for July.
          This summer’s fashions are characterised in every direction by the widest liberty and variety. There is the clinging Empire style so well suited to the slender ethereal girl, and from which wide picture hat, Gainsborough or Romney, with falling ribbons and the long, soft scarf, are inseparable. The Victorian sloping shoulder effect is again produced by the new taffetas cape with long stole ends, worn in conjunction with a flowered or spotted muslin, much be-frilled as to the skirt, and held out by a feather-boned petticoat. Nor is the more severe type of elegance neglected, and tailor-made linen garments with pleated trottoir skirts and mannish little coatees or paletots are much seen.
 The range of colour is also very wide. White is at the height of favour, black and white being more than over considered an impeccable combination. There is no doubt that with an all-white costume, a hat trimming of large bows of black and white striped linen is decidedly striking, and also in good taste, although we do not care so much for this ubiquitous striped ribbon in other colours. Crushed or faded tints in greens, pinks, purples and mauves are exploited, and besides the usual sky-blue and pale turquoise, innumerable shades of blue are much in evidence. Powder blue, periwinkle, hyacinth, and forget-me-not are some of these, and are at their best when forming the whole costume or united with white.
   Muslins in rather original shades as, mole, mustard, apricot, and dull greys and greens have been worn at fashionable resorts and all shades of the latter are popular.
   White, however, must for a month or two claim our primary consideration, representing, as it does, not only the charming and the seasonable, but the economical. An embroidered linen, for instance will stand several summers’ wear, and wash each time as good as new, whereas its price expended on chiffon, flowers, muslins, and similar fabrics is soon frittered away. White washing blouses and shirts are greatly to be preferred to coloured ones, as there is no risk of that washed-out effect, which so often follows a visit to the laundry, and a well-cut white shirt will last for a very long period.
   There is quite a rage for afternoon blouses of lace, and their principal cachet is certainly the novel combination of several kinds of lace. A comparatively short length of Valenciennes piece lace makes up beautifully into a puffy bodice, with short elbow sleeves, provided the yoke is supplemented with motifs and empressements of guipure; and white Irish crochet – made up preferably over a foundation of net – should be trimmed with insertions and frillings of narrow Valenciennes. Money spent on lace is never wasted, a matter in which French are so superior to Englishwomen, who squander too many shillings on chiffon and tulle, which must sooner or later be consigned to the rag bag, while lace – and this refers not only to real, but also to the better kinds of imitation- lives in indefinitely.
 The lingerie hats retain their attraction for their river and seaside girl. Some very pretty specimens have cambric motifs embroidered in coloured ribbon work; and muslin, embroidery, and lace, edged with frillings of all kinds are used, and should be such as to bear washing when a shady hat of this sort becomes a veritable economy. Eylet-hole work and embroidered cambric are much to the fore, both fore dresses and also for underwear. A slightly worn white petticoat, or one whose frills leave something to be desired, can be brought into shape by a fresh flounce of broiderie anglaise of twelve or more inches in depth, which can be produced at quite a moderate price put on with a wide embroidered heading, to be threaded with a satin ribbon. This same deep broidery makes a charming evening cache corset, with a narrow ribbon-threaded heading for shoulder straps and wristband. 
   A white embroidered parasol is decidedly attractive, whilst still in its first freshness; but it can hardly be recommended as a good investment from the point of view of durability. A silk shade, with a detachable lace cover, on the contrary, is admirable, as a cover can be removed for cleaning or transferred later, and will outlive several parasols. Certain picturesque society women have revived the Directoire parasol, carried, when not up, by the point.
   The most fashionable ruffle reaches only to the shoulder, and has long velvet bows and ends. Ostrich feather and chiffon are sold in this length, and the less expensive coque, though up to the present only seen in the more commonplace long shape, can be very easily adapted by cutting to the length required. We had grown, perhaps, somewhat weary of the shoulder scarf with its rather irritating limpness and slipping propensities, but the vogue for the Spanish mantilla since the recent Royal wedding has given it a fresh impulse. The lace of Spain is much in demand for these accessories, and a graceful wrap can also be made from several yards of double width chiffon with the sides joined lengthwise, and circular tucks run and drawn at intervals, with a deep hem at either end. Large hats have been re-instated for the nonce, notably Leghorns trimmed simply with roses and velvet ribbon streamers. Others are wreathed in corn, oats or barley. There are shady hats of every conceivable period and design, bizarre and picturesque effects dominating. For duller days the very small toques or brimless hats worn on one side at an angle and balanced by enormous bows of striped or flowered ribbon, these, and the high-crowned sailor and flat “boater” are very chic.
   One word as to sleeves. Though it is safe to order the elbow length on all summer dresses and blouses, for some time to come, the run of the short sleeve for tailor costumes in practically doomed. The newest cloth coat has a sleeve reaching to the wrist, fitting the arm closely, and with a very modified shoulder puff. This will come as a welcome relief after the cut effect occasioned by the elbow length, and later on long sleeves will probably creep back to gowns of all descriptions. – “Mrs Leach’s Family Dressmaker”.

For the fashion enthusiast…..An article from the Leinster Leader describing the trends for the Summer, one hundred years ago!


[Compiled by Niamh Mc Cabe; typed by Sarah Luttrell; edited by Niamh Mc Cabe]

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