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bertha collar
a wide flounce surrounding horizontal, revealing shoulders neckline of a dress, fashion characteristic of Biedermeier period and the time of crinoline (since 1830s till around 1860). It could be made ​​of the same fabric as dress or of lace, or possibly batiste.
binda (polish)
decorative band surrounding the neck and borrowed from the rococo fashion, that was worn to a ball costume in the 1870s and 1880s. During this period, especially popular were binda made of black velvet ribbon with long ends falling over the back. In men's fashion of the second half of the nineteenth century and in early twentieth century binda was also a kind of band or cover used for modeling mustache and for protection against deformation during sleep.
narrow, long scarf resembling a snake, made of feathers of exotic birds - ostrich or marabou, or possibly cock. Already in the Empire period fashionable were boa made of fur, used primarily to protect neck and bust against the cold. Typical boa made of light, fluffy feathers became fashionable during the Art-Nouveau period as an elegant addition to a ball and evening gowns.
bowler hat
hard, felt hat usually black with a characteristic rounded crown and a narrow brim oftentimes arched on sides. It was introduced around 1850 by William Bowler & Son English hat makers and hence its English language name. Polish name (melonik) was borrowed from German language where it was called Melone (melon). It became popular in 1860s and was initially worn with less official dress including jacket and since 1890s also with a frock coat. After the First World War it completely replaced top hat in daily dress.
devoid of its original function. hole in the lapel of men’s jacket or tailcoat, which was a relic of the buttoning on the wide facings of tail-coat from the late eighteenth century. With time however, it lost its original function and the corresponding button on the second lapel disappeared. In the mid-nineteenth century it began to be used for sticking in flowers or putting on miniature medals. However, its polish name butonierka derives from the French boutonière (buttonhole) and still reflects the original purpose.
capote bonnet
flat, tied under the chin and richly decorated bonnet shifted to the back of the head and covering ears and surrounded by ruffles or a small brim. It was very popular during era of crinoline and with it it went out of fashion.
frock coat
a basic item of men’s wardrobe of the nineteenth century. Men outwear, knee length of jacket type buttoned up from waist up with a flat collar. Worn on top of vest, it evolved from a redingote style coat around 1800. Its style during a hundred years underwent some modifications: initially it wasn’t always single-breasted and sewn most often from navy blue, brown, gray or green cloth while less frequently from a black one. In the Biedermeier period, when in men's fashion, just like in women’s fashion, emphasis was on the tight waistline and widened hips and shoulders, a frock coat gained folded and puffed sleeves. In the second half of the 19th century only black (less frequently gray) frock coats with straight tails, wider waist line, double-breasted fastening and black lapels trimmed with velvet were fashionable. Henceforth this style was no longer a subject to a visible change, up to World War I, when the frock coat became obsolete. Until the mid nineteenth century it served the function of everyday dress unlike more elegant tailcoat, later this role was taken by jacket. Therefore in the second half of 19th century it was worn on more formal occasions such as funerals and morning weddings as well as a dress of ministers and diplomats, together with double-breasted vest of the same fabric, top hat and striped trousers.
very characteristic nineteenth-century men's coat with a few stacked caplets attached to the collar each subsequent one shorter – there could be even up to six of them. It came from England and there it was particularly popular, although it also became popular throughout Europe. It was also adapted for a woman's fashion. We associate it with the figure of Sherlock Holmes. Its name derives from the name of John Carrica - coachman, because this dress was very popular with coachmen, hackneys and travelers.
a characteristic soft, pointed cap with a long falling top, decorated by a tassel or pompon, worn while sleeping by men as protection from cold in under heated rooms, from 18th century until mid 20th century. It could be wadded or made warmer by use of fur. Its polish name szlafmyca derives from German Schlafmütze (cap for sleeping).
opera hat
collapsible top hat invented in 1823 and patented in 1837 by Parisian hat maker Antione Gibus. Its construction contained springs was further improved by Duchêne sr. thanks to this lightly hit by hand it was opening making a characteristic crackle to which it owned its French name of chapeau claque (crackling hat). On its outer side it was covered with glossy velvet. In the second half of 19th century opera hat was reserved for ball dress and worn exclusively with tail-coat unlike top hat worn also with a frock coat. During dance collapsed opera hat was kept underarm and called chapeau-bras.
specific type of 19 century eyeglasses without temples and earpieces, held on nose by pinching the bridge of the nose by a bridge piece between two lenses. They were invented by the Frenchman Joseph Bressy in 1825 and quickly began to enjoy great popularity among the representatives of the wealthy middle class, although in this period wearing of any type of glasses in the presence of people superior by social rank was still considered inelegant. In Poland, [besides word binokle] they were also often called by the French term pince-nez (pinching the nose) or by acquired from the German word cwikier (German zwicker).
princess style dress (‘a la princesse’)
very feminine style of dress, closely fitted to the waistline, unbroken by a seam in waistline and modeled with tucks. It became popular in 1864 thanks to Parisian fashion designer Charles Frederica Worth and named princesse to honor Princess of Wales Alexandra. It gained a particular popularity during the period of so called tight fashion in the years 1876-1882 since its style helped to emphasize a smooth transition between full breasts, wasp waist, and feminine rounded hips. For the same reason it was also criticized by moralists as manifestation of ‘covered nudity’. This style returned to favor during Art Nouveau period among others as worn without corset, loose, reformed dresses.
rotunda (polish)
long, wide women's coat with a circular, conical form with vertical slits for arms, whose style allowed wearing it on top of crinoline with a wide pagoda sleeves. Most often sewn of dark velvet or wool, it might also be quilted. It buttoned up with small buttons from top to bottom and at the neck was finished with a small collar.
smoking jacket
short, comfortable men’s jacket with a shawl collar and turn-up cuffs worn as a domestic leisure dress in the morning or for ‘good morning’ hence its polish name bonżurka derived from French bon jour meaning ‘good morning’. Usually sewn of soft fabrics such as flannel, often quilted for additional insulation.
striped trousers (polish: spodnie sztuczkowe)
characteristic trousers of woolen fabric in black and gray stripes. Their style was tight, and they were worn with a frock coat or tailcoat. By the end of the 19 century they were only used with a formal morning or visiting dress.
due to the elongated rear part, in Poland also called swallow. Kind of well fitted to the waistline, tight, single-breasted coat reaching the knees, with a front part below the lower button cut away and rounded. It had a flat collar reaching to upper button. It came into fashion in England in the mid nineteenth century and was initially sewn of lighter color, and even checkered fabrics. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century it started to be treated as a formal morning dress of among others diplomats and participants in morning weddings. It replaced a frock coat – at such occasions it could be black or dark gray. Worn always with striped trousers, top hat, vest, shirt with turnover collar and plastron. Additionally upper part of women's suite which is the equivalent of the male jacket and which became fashionable from the late nineteenth century is called in polish by the same word żakiet.
top hat
fashionable throughout the nineteenth century, men's hat with a characteristic stiff, high cylinder side band and rounded and narrow, usually narrower on sides and curved upwards brim. It appeared in fashion in the years 1770-1780, and in the early nineteenth century it became a part of everyday bourgeois men's clothing. Besides black ones also colorful - including beige and gray top hats were fashionable. Its form has changed slightly over time: in the 18th century its side band was slightly narrowing towards the top, in the 1820s it was very high and widening towards the top, in the 1830s straight top hats were popular and at the end of the 19th century low, slightly wider at the top. Frequently it was made of felt or velvet. In the second half of 19th century, wearing a top hat, which gained the status of the more elegant headgear than bowler hat, began to be guided by strict rules. It could only be worn with a frock coat and tailcoat unlike opera hat worn with a ball tails. They were part of diplomats’ dress during the interwar period, till today they are sometimes worn as part of wedding dress. Top hat usually decorated with an airy veil become during 1830s also a part of women riding habit. Its Polish name cylinder derives from a Greek kylindros (cylinder).
veil (polish: woalka)
item of dress covering face or eyes typically made of lace or tulle, decorating ladies’ hats and pill boxes, fashionable in 1870s. It was a reminder of long airy veils draped around the head or hat during romanticism period.
watch chain
chain secured to a button of vest and used to attach a pocket watch carried in a pocket. One of very few jewelry items in 19th century men’s clothing. Originally polish word for a watch chain dewizka meant seal with a family coat of arms and in the 18th century also a decorative ribbon ended with a seal, keys, or pendant of various shapes.
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