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what garments to wear for brides suitable for second wedding

Wedding Gowns Throughput The Gilded Age

Weddings were celebrated during the morning hours until changes in church law in 1886 allowed afternoon weddings. In keeping with Victorian society’s modest propriety for daytime dress, necklines were high and sleeves long. Wedding dresses of many socially prominent brides were altered for evening attire, or a second bodice was made for evening-one with a lower neckline and no sleeves.

In 1861, Minister’s Gazette of Fashion addressed men’s dress etiquette for weddings. The proper ensemble included a frock coat of blue, claret, or mulberry, a waistcoat of white, and trousers of pale drab or lavender doeskin. Black was considered a color inconsistent with the occasion.

Wedding dress styles generally followed the current fashionable daytime styles and were worn with either a bonnet or veil. It was not until the end of the 1860s, however, that veils were worn over the face.

Dresses could be white or colored. Socially prominent brides wore white, while those of the working or artisan classes wore a new ‘best’ dress which was usually a more practical color than white, and worn for more than one occasion. When in mourning, brides could wear a black, gray, or lavender color dress.

According to Mary Elizabeth Sherwood in The American Code of Manners of 1884, “young ladies who marry widowers often dress in colored silks, and with a bonnet, or not, as they please.”

At afternoon weddings, many brides chose to get married in their going-away dresses, which were often practical traveling suits.

By the end of the 19th century, men had become less colorful in their fashionable as well as wedding attire. During the 1880s, a morning coat or cutaway of dark blue or black was worn with gray trousers and tie and a white waistcoat. The frock coat returned in the 1890s, but only in black. These garments may reflect the time of day the wedding occurred. The morning coat was considered formal morning-time attire, while the frock coat was considered a formal style of men’s dress for the afternoon. Tailcoats were only for evening wear, and therefore not appropriate for weddings, while the tuxedo was not established as a form of men’s wear until the late 1880s, and then, only for informal occasions. what garments to wear for brides suitable for second wedding

The new lounge or ‘sack’ suit was considered casual attire for gentlemen of upper classes, however, it was considered best dress for rural classes and laborers and worn by grooms for weddings of that socio-economic level.

Early 20th Century, 1901-1935

After the turn of the century, the white wedding dress tradition was firmly established, and further embellished by the Edwardians with an abundance of lace and pearls. Wedding dress styles of the early twentieth century continued to follow fashionable dress silhouettes, including the short flapper dress popular in the 1920s, and the bias cut fashions of the early 1930s. The romantic and historical epics of the cinema, featuring glamorous evening and exotic historical styles also influenced wedding dress designs. In addition to the fashionable bias cut gowns, medieval and victorian styles were also available.

Around the turn of the century, proper gentlemen’s wedding attire consisted of a frock coat, striped trousers, and a light waistcoat. The morning coat or cutaway regained popularity by 1910, and was in widespread use after WWI. Working men wore a dark suit, which eventually gave way in the 1930s to a formal suit, or tuxedo, often rented for the occasion.

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