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Summer Fashions - Harper's

Bridal, Morning, and Visiting Costumes.

 Bridal, Morning, and Visiting Costumes.

THE Summer in all its fervor is now prevailing, and the dictations of fierce Leo may not be disregarded with impunity. Light textures, only, are seasonable, and the genius of modists has wrought out beautiful and appropriate patterns for dresses, bonnets, mantelets, &c. The textures most in vogue are light silks, taffetas, barèges, mousseline de soie, valencias, plain and printed cambric muslins, jaconets, &c. Our first Illustration exhibits appropriate costume for three phases in the character of fashion; a bride's dress, a morning costume, and a visiting dress.

The Bridal Dress, seen on the left, is extremely elegant. The hair is in short bandeaux and very large. The vail of illusion silk net, is embroidered above the hem with twelve rows of narrow silk braid put very near together. It is laid flat on the head and incloses the back hair. The edge comes on the forehead. The crown is composed of double laurel flowers, bunches of lilies of the valley, and reed leaves. It goes round the head behind, and does not meet in front. The foliage reaches forward and falls all round the head.

The under-dress is of white silk, the upper of India muslin, open in front, in the body and skirt, so as to show one width of the silk. The body is almost high. A deep valenciennes, scolloped, forms a lapel down the body and the edges of the skirt. The short pagoda sleeves are trimmed with rows of valenciennes. The body and skirt have several rows of narrow valenciennes, three together at intervals, and so arranged as to form undulations. These trimmings are fixed to one insertion: they are not loose, but so fastened as to follow all the motions of the folds of the skirt. The cross-bands are ornamented on the body with a silk bow in the middle; on the skirt, with two others placed at the extremities. A bow on each arm holds up the pagodas. The collar is plaited; an embroidered insertion, and three rows of valenciennes, undulated like the trimming of the dress. The under-sleeves, of embroidered muslin at the bottom, are straight, and rather loose at the wrist. They have an insertion and three rows of valenciennes.

The sitting figure shows a Morning Costume composed of taffeta and other light materials. An elegant and rather gay style is taffeta of a light gray ground, striped broad, with intervening wreaths of roses. The body three-quarter height at the back. It opens in a large lapel down each side of the tablier, which is trimmed with fringe, of hues corresponding with the dress. The fringe is continued from the bottom of the lapel down each side of the tablier. Sleeves are funnel-shaped, rather more than a half-length, and finished with fringe. Cambric chemisette, made quite up to the throat, and cambric under-sleeves. Lemon colored silk or drawn bonnet, the brim very open at the sides. The interior is trimmed in cap style with tulle; lemon colored brides or strings.

The figure on the right shows a Visiting Dress. The body is à la Louis XV.; demi-long sleeves of the small pagoda form. A pardessus like a little pelisse; a close fitting body, moderately open on the bosom; bordered with a very rich fancy trimming. Wide sleeves descending to the hand, and terminated with fancy trimming and a rich fringe. The skirt is short behind, but nearly a half length in front, open before, and trimmed round the bottom with three rows of fringe laid on as flounces. Rice straw bonnet; a very small open brim, the interior trimmed with tufts of red and yellow roses and their foliage, and white brides. The exterior of the bonnet is decorated with a wreath of the same flowers, intermixed with thin foliage, and light sprigs of small white flowers and buds.

Fig. 2.—Bonnets. Fig. 2.—Bonnets.
Turkish Costume. Turkish Costume.

Bonnets continue to be made small and very open in front. Light silks are fashionable. These are covered by rows of white festooned ribbon, as seen in the second Illustration of Fig. 2. Others have white lace on the front, over the centre, and upon the crown and curtain; as seen in the other Illustration. Florence straw, gauze, tulle, crape, and crapelisse, are more fashionable and much more seasonable. Rice straw bonnets are very much in vogue this season. The general forms of bonnets have not much changed since our last report.

There appears to be a decided and growing tendency on the part of our countrywomen, to wear the trowsers. If properly done, we certainly can not object. For some time past indications of an invasion, by the ladies, of men's peculiar domain in dress, incited by the strong-minded Miss Webers of the day, have been tangible, but the frowns of Fashion have hitherto kept the revolutionists quiet, and ladies' dresses have every month been increasing in longitude, until train-bearers are becoming necessary. It is conceded by all that the dresses of prevailing immoderate length, sweeping the ground at every step, are among the silliest foibles of Fashion; expensive, inconvenient, and untidy. Recently, in several places, practical reformers, as bold as Joan d'Arc, have discarded the trailing skirts, and adopted the far more convenient, equally chaste, and more elegant dresses of Oriental women. Some ridicule them; others sneer contemptuously or laugh incredulously, and others commend them for their taste and courage. We are disposed to be placed in the latter category; and to show our good-will, we present, above, a sketch of Oriental Costume, as a model for our fair reformers. What can be more elegant and graceful, particularly for young ladies? The style is based upon good taste, and, if the ladies are in earnest, it must prevail. A crusty cynic at our elbow who never believed in progress in any thing, thinks so too; and has just whispered in our ear of woman, that

"If she will, she will, you may depend on't,
And if she won't, she won't—so there's an end on't."