Spring into Summer

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Strawbridge and Clothier ad from 1916

Advertisement for fabrics and colors of Summer 1900

The Summer Wardrobe—Apple Blossom and Daffodil Linens Among the Season’s Novelties

Linens will be decidedly the mode this summer, and surely nothing could be lovelier than the “bloom” linens, whose names of apple blossom, daffodil, wild strawberry, spring woods and hawthorne reveal the secrets of their exquisite tones of faint pink, soft yellow or tender green. But with all this poesy of name and color these “bloom” linens have a strength of texture which makes them capable of withstanding any amount of hard wear, and with machine stitched trimmings, or cuffs and collar of guipure lace, form an effective costume at little cost, says the New York Tribune.

Some of the new organdie muslins are veritable things of beauty, and at conveniently low prices, while there is a dainty charm about a white muslin with openwork stripes, where the pattern consists of clusters of pink roses caught together by bows and trailing ends of pale blue ribbon. Anyone must fall a willing victim to a cool looking all-over design of maidenhair fern in freshest green and white, to be worn over a colored slip with ribbons to match the fern.

So soft and shimmering are some of the cotton foulards that they would readily pass for silk if they were not marked with the price of 25 cents a yard, with finer qualities at 40 cents. They make up prettily with trimmings of lace insertion in waved lines, and boleros of the same cotton lace.

With summer fabrics at such moderate prices it will be possible to include a number of washing gowns and blouses in one’s outfit, which are an absolute necessity to the woman who would present a pleasing picture of dainty freshness and cool comfort even on the hottest of dog days.

In the way of trimming lace reigns supreme, and on every portion of the costume that affords an opportunity for its display there it is in evidence. Cluny and Irish laces are much in favor, owing, perhaps, to the recent visit of the queen to Ireland, and the efforts of the Irish Industrial association to expand the market in that direction. At any rate, the lace is beautiful and effective in fichu, collar, bertha or flounce, and many machine made imitations are used to good purpose on gowns of linen or cotton. Russian lace, in the real flax color, is much sought after for garments of substantial texture, particularly in light weight cloth in pastel shades or in black taffeta silk. Narrow black French lace will be used extensively for trimming these cotton gowns. One of this sort designed for the trousseau of a recent May bride was made of fine white Swiss muslin, with narrow gathered ruffles of the same, edged with black lace, and arranged in deep points about the skirt. The bodice was made with clusters of fine tucks, the outer one of each group being lace edged, while draped about the shoulders and knotted in front was a Marie Antoinette fichu, finished with the lace edged ruffle.

Some charming effects are being shown by the leading tailors in softest cloths of delicate pastel colorings embroidered in an openwork design which shows the soft shimmer of satin beneath, in either a paler shade of the dominant dress color or some effectively contrasted tone, In all black these gowns are particularly elegant, with no touch of color visible, even in the underskirt. An example of this was recently shown in black cloth of the lightest possible weight, with an admirable effect in the well-cut bolero, which was entirely covered with embroidery, which figured again, both as a bordering to the overskirt and the closely-plaited flounce beneath. Palest fawn cloth over ivory satin is one of the most fascinating of  color effects.

An innovation for summer millinery is the velvet fruit, just from Paris. It is produced in all colors impossible to nature, such as cherries in turquoise blue and apple green, besides red, yellow and black. Small velvet peaches are delicately shaded from pale green or yellow to pink and scarlet, while luscious strawberries in black or natural shades are studded with pale yellow seeds and mounted with their own green leaves.

Fashion illustration from August 1905

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July 1900 ad showing the new bolero and lace used as trim.

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2 thoughts on “Spring into Summer

  1. Carol, the fabrics sound delightful. The colors also inspire me to think of free flowing garments of the type Isadora Duncan would have worn while dancing. I can’t connect these descriptions, though, with the tightly fitted silhouettes shown in the illustrations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Em, Yes, the fitted silhouette still had a tight grip on the torso. But the severe line was somewhat offset by a draped bodice and ruffles at the neckline. The flounces and outward flare at the lower edge of the skirt would seem to balance the big hats. By 1910 the skirt would be free flowing and the natural waistline less defined. I was intrigued by the use of lace and the bolero jacket. Lace is so prevalent lately and lace trimming on a bolero jacket looks nice.


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