The 1870s were a period of change and complexity in women's fashion (Nunn, ). Between 1865 and 1870 the enormously popular crinoline fell from high fashion, and for a short period relative simplicity was the key. As we see here, the large bustle, so obvious in some of Du Maurier's illustrations of the mid-70s, went out of fashion before returning in the mid-80s.
The woman depicted here wears "a princess sheath dress or polonaise," a fairly tight-fitting, long-waisted dress with "bodice and skirt cut in one (popular between 1878 and 1880). . . associated with the Princess of Wales, later Queen Alexandra." Simple as the dress appears in front, it has a long, intricate train -- even for daytime wear.
A form of the single-breasted lounging (or lounge) jacket known as the Albert. More than a decade earlier (in the '60s) the the modern men's suit -- or lounge suit, as it is known in Great Britain -- first became popular when jacklet, trousers, and waistcoat appeared in the same fabric.
Throughout the 1870s tubular trousers "were at equal length at knee and ankle" (142).
Short ankle-length boots with either elastic sides or laces.
Low top hat.
Source of Image
Detail from "You Will Please To Deliver Them Into No Hands But His Own," by George Du Maurier for Hardy's A Laodiceanthe February 1880 Harper's New Monthly Magazine.
Nunn, Joan. Fashion in Costume, 1200-2000. 2nd edition. Chicago: New Amsterdam Books, 2000.
Last modified 11 June 2001