This is one of my top ten favorite Dover coloring books. I love that period in clothing, and these are drawn to look like the original prints in the Godey's Lady's Book periodical, with the smooth oval faces, tiny mouths and oversized eyes. I colored the entire book using colored pencils to imitate that subtle tint used for these plates. There is also some information about Sara Josepha Hale, the first female editor in the U.S., and quite the women's activist. If you purchase this book, I also suggest Dover's picture book, 80 Godey's Full-Color Fashion Plates: 1838-1880. It is out of print, for now at least, but can be purchased elsewhere. Not only can you see many of these beautiful dresses as they originally appeared in the magazine, but there is a wealth of additional information about Hale and the state of fashion during this era. The examples in this coloring book are from the dates stated above, although the periodical lasted until 1989, overtaken by stronger publications such as Harper's Bazar, and Ladies' Home Journal.
The first picture is from page 3, and depicts two ball gowns from 1840. Moving up to 1855, we see two walking dresses, shown on page 9.
The ladies in the next picture are wearing an evening costume and a dinner dress, from 1872. They appear on page 16. On page 23, we see a walking dress, dinner dress, and evening dress from 1876.
We can see the huge change in fashion, from full and flowing to tightly wrapping the body. First pictured are dresses from 1878—a visiting dress, dinner dress, and evening dress, from page 27. The last one, from page 30 pictures a child wearing a velvet coat and cashmere dress, a carriage dress, and an evening dress, from 1880.
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