Women from July 1850
Date: July 1850
Originally published in: Le Moniteur de la mode
Description: Two women outdoors - one in a walking-dress and one in a somewhat less formal day-dress.
The day dress is perhaps the most interesting piece here, with the pink skirt and the white blouse. The key question is if this is a one-piece dress sewn in two different fabrics, or if it is a skirt and a blouse. It really does look like two-piece thing, the material is obviously very different and dresses sewn in two separate fabrics are not a common thing (it is actually so rare that I have never seen any evidence for it). But there is a big problem with this - in the 1850's a blouse was not considered a fashionable garment for the upper classes, and these fashion plates were made for that specific audience. (And no, it isn't a jacket since a jacket couldn't be tucked in to the skirt as is the case here.) Still, the material of the blouse is obviously expensive, only for the well off. From this I think we can draw two conclusions: it's a garment meant to be worn at home as it is much less formal, and it was probably aimed at the somewhat younger clientele, being a bit more practical, probably somewhat less expensive than a whole dress and easier to wear. The woman in the picture is wearing a bonnet, but since it's outside and the black lace is obviously there to hide her face from the sun it only reveals that she doesn't want a tan and nothing about weather she is a married (older) woman or not. But she definitely comes across as younger than the other one, the woman in blue.
The other dress, the walking-dress is much more straight forward. It's the typical shape, size and model for a dress of that type at that time - with the usual accessories of bonnet and gloves (and dog). Though I am not sure light gloves are the ideal for picking cherries...