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Women's Fashion Accessories

A number of accessories supplemented the 1850s wardrobe, including earrings, necklaces, parasols, neck ribbons, undersleeves, chemisettes, wraps and shawls.

Flat button earrings were popular around 1852 and were replaced by drop pendant earrings around 1856. Necklaces were more in vogue at this time than the previous decade. Often a watch was worn on a chain around the neck. Notice the flat button earrings in the image on the left, as well as the watch hanging on the left side of the womanÕs body. Notice the drop pendant earrings in the image on the right.

1850s Jewelry 1850s Jewelry

1850s Jewelry: Image courtesy of Joan L. Severa, Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900, 1995

Neck ribbons were popular, sometimes having a brooch at the knot. Brooches were also common on collars and wraps.

1850s Neck Ribbon and Brooche 1850s Neck Ribbon and Brooche

1850s Neck Ribbons and Brooches: Image courtesy of Joan L. Severa

The chemisette, spencer, or underhandkerchief was popular in the early 1850s. This type of undershirt is shown in the image below, visible beneath the womanÕs v-neck bodice. Undersleeves (or engageante) became popular beneath the flared sleeves of the basque waist. These frilly sleeves protruded from beneath the cuff of the oversleeve, as seen in the image below.

1850s Underkerchief and Undersleeves

1850s Underkerchief and Undersleeves: Image courtesy of Joan L. Severa

A variety of wraps, capes, and shawls were popular during the 1850s. The pereline style capes seen below, with brooches at the neck, was a popular early 1850s style.

1850s Pereline Style Cape 1850s Pereline Style Cape

1850s Pereline Style Capes: Image courtesy of Joan L. Severa

The fur wrap below, called a basquine for its fitted shape, is a later 1850s style.

1850s Basquine Fur Wrap

1850s Basquine Fur Wrap: Image courtesy of Joan L. Severa

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