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A Year in Fashion:1870

"History of the Bonnet"

Page 4

This website contains a fashion article from Lady's Friend Magazine, June 1870.



To return to the origin of the bonnet, the first thing ever seen in the annuals of costume at all approaching a bonnet is the Marie Stuart hood, which appeared first in the fifteenth century, although it afterward obtained the name of the unfortunate queen who always wore it. It was really a hood, and not properly a bonnet. Later, in Charles the Second's reign, a suggestion of a modern bonnet is found, much as it is worn now. This has the deep strings worn a few years back, the mantilla of last season. But the bonnet actual and proper was not invented or assumed till after the first French Revolution, at the end of the eighteenth century, as it is named.

Most fashions come in mildly, and gradually increase in extravagance, through extremes being thought stylish, and leaders of fashion increasing their measures to outvie one another, "till the force of fancy, can no farther go," and the whole thing becomes absurd. Chignons, for instance, commenced in neat little rows of natural hair very tastefully arranged on the poll, but then grew larger and larger, and rose and rose, like a stormy sea, till they literally enveloped the little island of the head, and became what we now see them.

Not so with bonnets. The bonnet was born old -that is huge and ugly, and wrinkled, and fantastical- and has grown younger and younger into its pretty insignificance and youthful grace.

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pictorial timeline on page 1 | page 2 | page 3 | page 4

Article Bibliographical Information:

"History of Bonnets," Lady's Friend Magazine, Vol. VII, No 6, June 1870, pp. 405-408.

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Disclaimer: This article is being presented as an educational resource of women fashions during this time era. The Costume Gallery, or its owner, Penny E. Dunlap Ladnier, does NOT sell or make sewing patterns. This publication's text is in its original format. Spelling or grammar may not appear to be correct, but were standard for the original publication date.

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