Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ladies In Braces

I have been looking at fashion magazines lately and have been drawn to ladies braces. I have always loved these on girls but I had never really had much thought about them for a woman's dress. Here are a few that I have found:

La Modes Illustree for November 1862
These seem to be part of the bodice of this tan silk dress.

"Robe de poult de laine gris. Le bas de la jupe est garni avec une ruche la taffettas noir, ayant quatre centimetres la largeur; au-dessus de cette ruche se trouvent quatre rubans de velours noir, disposés en quarts de carrés. Manches demi-larges ornées comme la robe; corsage montant, fermé par des boutons de velours noir; le corsage est garni de bretelles dont les pans ornés comme la robe, tombent  sur celle-ci après avoir passé sous la ceinture de velours noir."

General translation - Dress of  ? gray wool. The bottom of the skirt is decorated with pleated taffeta, about 4 centimeters wide; above this ruche is crossed by four black velvet ribbons laid out in quarters of squares. The sleeves are semi-large, the bodice is closed by black velvet buttons and decorated with straps, or bretelles, of which the sides decorate the dress, falling loose after having passed under the black velvet belt.

La Modes Illustree for November 1862
In this picture you can see the braces are an accessory made of lace. In this case it is most likely black blond (a very expensive silk lace, very popular at the time).
La Modes Illustree May 1862
Arthur's Home Magazine February 1863
The What-not; or Ladies' Handy Book
La Modes Illustree for August 1862
 La Mode Illustree, July 1862
 I think that it's really interesting how the braces make the shoulders look wider and the waist look smaller at the same time. What a great accessory.