Doll in a Day Dress

c 1833

Printed cotton ankle length day dress, trimmed with lace and a wide belt.

This dress shows that the bell shape of the skirt and sloping shoulder line usually associated with Victoria's early reign were actually well established before she came to the throne, but the 1830's were really all about the sleeve. Huge gigot (leg of mutton) sleeves were one example of the extremes reached. New printing methods in the 1830's allowed for mass production of cheaper printed cottons.

Many layers of petticoats were needed to create the shape as the stiff horsehair crinoline (from the French crin, meaning horsehair) was not in use until the early 1840's, and the cage crinoline was not invented until the late 1850's.

The typical hairstyle with bunched curls to the sides lasted well into the 1840's. This one has a plait looped on top and decorated with ribbons.

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Indicative price £ 200

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