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Women's Fashion Accessories

A number of fashion accessories supplemented the woman's wardrobe of the 1870s, including jackets, chemisettes, scarves, neck ribbons, lockets and cameos, beads, earrings, bracelets, and gloves.

Jacket length greatly increased during the 1870s, such that the skirt beneath almost disappeared. Many were form fitting and many were boxy, with masculine cuts. The polonaise jacket was a popular style. This jacket was roughly knee length, cut in long gores without waistline seams. The girl in the image on the left dons a boxier, more masculine cut jacket. The woman on the right wears more of a long bodice than a jacket, however, the length, shape, and seams reflect the type of long, polonaise jacket popular at this time.

1870s Jacket 1870s Jacket

1870s Jackets: Image courtesy of Joan L. Severa, Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900, 1995

Jewelry included large lockets and cameos worn on heavy gold chains, long strands of beads, gold bracelets, long, dangling earrings in the early part of the decade, and slender, drop earrings after 1873. Black velvet neck ribbons tied at the back of the neck in a bow, often with a brooch or charm in the front. Neck scarves and long, narrow gloves were also popular.

The woman in the image on the left fashionably displays the dangling earrings of the early 1870s, a neck ribbon with a charm, and a neck scarf tied in the front of her collar. The woman in the center image wears the post-1873 slender, drop earrings. The woman in the image on the right has fashioned a rather prominent neck scarf at the front of her bodice.

1870s Jewelry and Scarves 1870s Jewelry and Scarves 1870s Jewelry and Scarves

1870s Jewelry and Scarves: Image courtesy of Joan L. Severa

The girls in the image on the left wear the long pearls looped several times around their necks. Although the brooch or cameo is obscured in the image on the right, the heavy gold chain is visible around the woman's neck.

1870s Jewelry 1870s Jewelry

1870s Jewelry: Image courtesy of Joan L. Severa

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