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Williamsburg Rose

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First Floor - The Library

Victorian Fashions

The Library of the house was traditionally the withdrawing room for the gentlemen of the house, after dinner, perhaps for a cigar, or glass of stronger spirits, and gentlemanly conversation. In the LaPaorte House, it also served as a business office, and today serves to house many artifacts of the family and the era.

Two ladies of the mid-19th century feature daytime clothing for summer and winter wear.

PLAID JACKET & SKIRT c.1850's

This middle-class ensemble of the mid-1850's is suited for a cooler-weather outing - a two-piece outfit of plaid cotton fabric, in varigated shades of lilac, garnet red, and grey.
The bodice of this classic style of daywear is a fitted jacket known as a Caraco bodice, with long basques extending over the hips, giving the appearance of a top skirt flounce. The jacket has double darts descending into the basques, and a front closing of hooks and bars, with ornamental buttons. A collar constructed of of antique laces trims the high neckline. The jacket has short "mancherons" or epaulets, and from beneath them, long full "Pagoda" style sleeves, popular from the 1850's through the early 1860's. These are decorated with ruched bands of satin ribbon, which also forms a "V" shape trimming on the bodice.
Under this type of wide sleeve, white "engagents" are worn to modestly cover the lady's lower arm. These gathered lower sleeves are made in white cotton gauze, finished with cuffs, and edged with natural-color, delicate antique bobbin-lace to match the collar. After 1856, skirts were supported by the newly invented "cage crinoline", or "hooped petticoat". Worn over a hoop or numerous petticoats, this skirt is an example of the very popular triple-tiered style, and is of a size suitable to day dress.
The ensemble is accessorized with a silk 'spoon' bonnet, suede gloves and a crocheted gold reticule.

CREAM/PEACH COTTON SUMMER DRESS c.1840's

During the 19th century, both England and America looked to France for the latest developments and innovations in fashion, and stylish dress was clearly international in the Victorian era. The right outfit was required for the right occasion, and the strata of Victorian society which could afford to dress properly for each social event did so with a sense of style, elegance and decorum.
This Day dress is made of cream cotton muslin with a pale self-stripe, perfect for warm-weather wear. The bodice is cut and shirred with a gathered front called "a la vierge" set into a waistband, and has the backward-sloping shoulder seams common to 19th century dress construction. The neckline is high, and decorated with a floral accent. Since the fabric is semi-sheer, a lower-necked bodice lining may be glimpsed through the striped material. The gown has long "Pagoda" style sleeves, a style popular from the 1840's through the early 1860's. These are decorated with ruched bands of trimming made from peach satin ribbon and cream lace. Under this type of wide sleeve, full open lace engagents modestly cover the lady's lower arm. The skirt is plain, and a peach silk sash is worn about the waist
The outfit is accessorized with a wide-brimmed summer hat, floral accets t throat and waist-sash, and a silk and black lace parasol.

HOME - LaPorte Bedroom - Regency Bedroom - Ladies' Parlor -
Back Parlor - Front Parlor - Library - Dining Room -

Comments or questions on this website?
For info on the exhibit pieces or presentation: TapestryLJ@aol.com


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