Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Natural Form Era Child's Dress

From the seller:

A darling young girl’s navy blue and white stripe cotton and eyelet dress that was once worn by Evelyn Bower Man. The dress has a rare Paris Label that reads Au Bon Marche Costumes d’Enfants and is numbered 208783. The note reads 1920 but because of the style it appears to be more Edwardian in design. The dress has a high neck net lace collar. The shoulder area is trimmed with eyelet, black velvet ribbon and small crocheted balls. The sleeve cuffs are trimmed with eyelet. The waist is trimmed with black velvet that has a large black velvet bow and streamers. The skirt is decorated with a panel of eyelet and an eyelet hemline. Each are trimmed with crocheted balls. The dress is lined with cotton and has a back hook and eye closure. The dress is in good and sturdy condition. It has not been cleaned so there are scattered age marks as can be seen in the photos. Bust 30 Waist 24 Sleeve length ``10 Length from shoulder to hem 31.

From Me:

From what I could find, the company was established before 1879 and was still going strong in the 1930's. I found a website for Le Bon Marche, which may be the same department store.

Most likely 1879 or slightly after.


  1. Huh. I would have guessed 1910s for sure, but children's wear is not my forte.

    1. Here's a children's fashion plate from 1911; like the adults dresses, the neckline started to go down and the lines of the dress were more even all around. The big thing to look at in this extant one is the placement of the lace (notice it's only on one side) and the shoulder lines (notice how slopped they are). This is more common with the asymmetrical dress that was popular during the Natural Form Era.

  2. That's a very nice plate, thanks for sharing!
    I figured asymmetry was very, very popular in the early teens in adults garments, and I've seen that compromise in sleeve design, where you kind of have the sleeve and body in one piece so typical of the early teens, but stopping short and going into set-in sleeves below the shoulder. Again, I've only seen this in women's, not kids, because I don't research kids fashions much. I thought maybe the slope was due to the dummy, but it does look like a decent fit. I felt like the fabric, type of lace, bobble trim, and button trim with faux buttonhole details are all SO 1910s. Sheer high neck with a lower "opaque" neck also typical of the earliest teens in women's, at least in fashion plates, even if many everyday outfits in the real world started to skip the high collar entirely. And no ruffles, pleats, gathers, or bows also made me less inclined to think 1870s-80s.
    I have noticed before though, how many similarities there are in cut and some other details between the natural form and early teens :-)