During this period Greek tunics and motifs influenced the feminine dress but the Renaissance influence was becoming evident in fashion. Details like closed or open ruffs, puffs and slashes, hanging sleeves, corset bodices and gathered chemises and shoulder rolls were becoming popular once again. The Gothic revival was probably responsible for this interest in the Renaissance.
Men were wearing clothing that were flowered and brightly hued. Through this period masculine dress reflected feminine in the matter of a nipped-in-waist and outspreading hips. Men wore hair a little longer than in modern fashions, luxuriant on top and at the sides. Men also went smooth-shaven or with little sideburns and small mustaches. The top hat was the fashionable hat to wear yet people in the States, and country people wore a shorter top hat. The neckcloth covered the neck with the collar above it. Men also wore cravats to stand up high around the neck. Men wore the tail-coat which was long waisted, double breasted and descended to the top of the knee. When womens coats were growing smaller waisted and wider hipped mens coats were getting longer and flared out more from the waist. The male silhouette was becoming much like the ideal female shape with sloping shoulders.
Women arranged hair smooth over the brow often parted in the middle with ringlets, puffs or loops at the sides. Caps were a regular part of house dress for all matrons of any age. In the evening women wore turbans with their evening gowns. For outdoor wear women wore bonnets and hats. The Poke bonnet, the topknot and the beret are all of choices that women would have when dressing for the outdoors. Some necklines went back up and the fichu and ruffs hid the neck if not the neck lines dropped around the shoulders. The wearing of corsets returned and the waist was emphasized with a belt and large buckle. Short sleeves were puffed at the top and long sleeves were tubular or smallish leg-o-mutton shaped. As the period went on, more and more dresses had puffed sleeves.
The colors of this period are divided into men and womens colors. Men colors are black, brown, blue, bottle-green, olive green, plum, chestnut, "London smoke" and gray brown. The most popular color for evening wear was blue and pants were light: white, cream, tan, fawn, buff and light gray. Feminine colors included: rose, celestial, lapis blue, cream, buff, yellow, pale green, dove gray, and lavender gray. Children were dressed in pastels.
Notable Romantic Costume Elements
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