Gay Nineties. Wardrobe of Dude and Lady 1890s.
GAY NINETIES 1890-1900.
Plate No. 110
What a dandy was to the Regency, and an exquisite to the Elizabethans, a dude was to the late 19th century. This gentleman dates somewhere around 1895. Except for his overcoat, he is dressed as the man in Plate 106. It might be interesting to make a comparison.
Notice, first, that the gentleman of the nineties wears a “bowler” or derby. The top hat in Plate 106 has not disappeared but during the nineties the derby was the last word in fashion. Observe that the crown is somewhat higher than it had been, though the brim still curls very much on the sides. It was made of stiff felt.
He wears the usual “dude” mustache, short and waxed on the ends. He wears a monocle, always the mark of affectation, and a flower ornament on his overcoat lapel. The overcoat is extremely short and is trimmed with large cuffs. The double-breasted effect is simulated. Notice how the coat flares from normal shoulder width to wide skirts.
His collar is a type very popular at that time—a high straight collar, the edges of which could meet under the chin or expose a slight V neck as it does here. The tie is an ascot arranged in a slightly different manner, as can be seen by comparing it with plate 106.
Under his overcoat he wears the cutaway. In cut it is very similar to the garment in Plate 106. The falling off to the more rounded tails in back is more abrupt and it does not fasten quite so high on the chest.
The striped trousers are somewhat shorter than previously, and fit the legs much more tightly. He wears thin pointed shoes (another mark of a “dude”) and spats. His gloves and walking-stick are the common masculine accessories.
Very stylishly dressed is this lady in her lovely afternoon costume that was so uncomfortably restricting at the waistline. The bodice is elaborately tucked and pleated to fit the body. The inset lace forms a quimpe from which rises the high close-fitting collar. This is finished in the back with a large bow that adds to the cluster-effect at the neck. Observe the brooch at the throat. Over the large puffed sleeves extend ruffled capes that accentuate the width at the shoulders. From the huge shoulder distention which continues to the elbow, the sleeve narrows and is loosely fitted to the arm. At the wrist a small ruffle is used as trimming.
The skirt falls softly away from the tight waistline, which is belted and fastened with a flower. Full to the ground, it is decorated sparingly with large flowers, placed below the knees.
Her hair is still a pompadour, but the padding has added to the all-around distension. Her hat is large and profusely trimmed. This one is rather flat and its crown is covered with flowers and finished off with a ribbon bow. Her gloves are short, probably fastened with one button.
History of Costume