Friday, October 19, 2012

Natural Form Wrapper Gown (?)

From the seller:


Up for auction is this wearable, late Victorian or classic Edwardian walking day dress. It's made of a richly colored, woven ecru linen. The linen is a medium-weight fine weave, telling me that this is a dress intended to be warm during warm or cool weather, but not in the winter. The back of the dress is stunning. It has chocolate and white trim that traces from the hip down the legs to the ankle area. The back of the skirt is pleated and swishes pleasingly when you walk in it. The chocolate & white trim, which has a Craftsman textile motif, also lines the collar, the elaborate sleeve hems, and a large, useful pocket on the front hip of the dress. The dress slips on easily, coat style, and buttons up the front.

Size is somewhere between a medium and large. My lovely fit model is 5'10" and about a size US 6-8, and this dress was much too big for her. We had to hold it tight on her to show the details. The length of the dress, from shoulder to hem, is about 58", and as you can see, was long even on my willowy 5'10" model. The chest, however, is a trim at an approximate 32" around. The slimmest part of the waist measures about 34-36" around. From the hip down, the dress becomes much looser, about 48" at what would be the widest place of the lower hip, and it gets even looser from there down. Upper arms measure about 16-18" around on the upper arms. The arms of the dress are ful length, about 23" from shoulder seam to wrist. From shoulder to shoulder, it measures about 18" across. In terms of body type, this dress would best fit a tall, slim-busted lady, but is more generously size at the armholes and from the waist down. Please feel free to ask me more questions if this information isn't enough.


Good antique dress. It is wearable, but there is some wear here and there to the linen, and at some seams. I see some brown speckling at the front of the dress. The buttons dont seem to be big enough for the button holes, or the button holes need to be made smaller. Two buttons are missing from the bottom of the dress at the ankle. However, for such an old piece, you can expect a few flaws. I do not do any alterations, repairs, stain removals, etc, so this dress is offered exactly as is. The most I ever do with antique garments is lightly steam them if they're wrinkled, but I didn't do that with this particular dress. Please examine the photos, in which I've attempted to show the dress from every angle. Please feel free to ask questions before bidding. Thank you!

From Me:

Based on the trim placement and the back skirt styling, I think this is a Natural Form Wrapper dress. The pocket placement and style is also very 1870's/1880's. Natural form is basically from about 1877 to 1882.

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