1877 Zone-Front Day Dress

Friday’s Fashion Plate: 1877 Zone-Front Day Dress

Today we have a green day dress from La Dress Élégante, 1877.

1877 Dress

Zone Front Dress, 1877

At this time, the Natural Form era was just beginning. The bustle was shrinking and skirts were starting to narrow, with their bulk pulled toward the back. This dress is unusual in that it features a zone-front bodice, a style popular in the late 18th century. The center front of the bodice cuts away in an inverted V-shape to reveal a stomacher, which, in this case, is not a separate decorated piece, but a plain buttoned panel.

The bodice and fringed overskirt are of a very pale green with darker green trim. The bodice has a V-neckline with rounded collar lapels and a wide lace ruffle, while the stomacher is cut square and fastens with green buttons. The sleeves are long and straight and of a darker green material. Long, fringed epaulettes top the shoulders and a very wide cuff finishes off the sleeve with layers of ruffles and lace and a lavender ribbon.


Closeup of Bodice

The trained skirt is of a darker green material. It’s decorated with a wide ruffle at the hem and several rows of shirring above that.


Closeup of Skirt

To finish her ensemble, the lady wears pale gloves and drop earrings. Her hair is pulled into a high chignon with a lavender ribbon tucked into it, while loose curls fall from the back of her updo.


Have you ever seen a Victorian dress with 18th century details? What is your favorite aspect of this costume?

About Lisha Vidler

I am a sewing instructor living near Memphis, Tennessee.
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