With opulent fashions the ultimate in style, women of the late Victorian era wore a great deal of silks and satins. Daring combinations of bright colors were in. So were large hats, profusely trimmed. But by the end of the nineteenth century, ladies’ tastes in fashion were changing, along with female lifestyles. Larger numbers of women were not only working outside the home, they were also playing tennis and golf, and riding bicycles and horses. All these activities called for a definite change in female fashions. Women came to rely on tailored suits with full skirts and fitted jackets over simple blouses. Riding habits called for a long, draped skirt worn over a pair of trousers.
With the dawn of the twentieth century, professional tailors turned to the comprehensive 1895 “Keystone” guide to create office outfits, riding pants, shirtwaists, and other garments. Filled with more than eighty patterns, the handy resource provided tailors with suggestions for fabric choices as well as instructions for the proper measurement, fitting, cutting, and sewing of such items as a bolero jacket, a shirtwaist with yoke, a single-breasted vest, and riding breeches.
Supplemented with a selection of newly captioned illustrations from “The Delineator” magazine, this volume will be a valuable reference for costume designers and fashion historians, and a fascinating window on the past for nostalgia enthusiasts.