What trendy New York girls wore in summer 1872

Since I just heard that the heat index (is that the wind chill standing on its head?) is going to hit 110 today, I had to reblog this from Ephemeral New York.

Ephemeral New York

LadyssummerballdressHave you noticed the hot fashion trends this summer? High-waisted denim short shorts, crop tops, and striped dresses are all over the place.

During the summer of 1872, however, things were a lot more, well, buttoned-up.

Chic young women decked themselves out in beautifully embroidered dresses with big bustles and full skirts (no underbutt here!), as well as elaborate hats decorated with ribbons and bows.

They must have looked quite fetching at picnics and parties. But how did they keep from sweating?


These illustrations originally ran in the August 1872 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, a magazine that 141 years later is still dictating fashion trends.

At least the woman in the ball dress is holding a fan!

[Illustrations from the NYPL Digital Gallery]

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