Ladies mail-order catalogue had been an important catalyst for the change from custom-made to clothing that is ready-made.

Ladies mail-order catalogue had been an important catalyst for the change from custom-made to clothing that is ready-made.


Ladies mail-order catalogue had been an important catalyst for the change from custom-made to clothing that is ready-made.

A hundred years ago a lot of people made their clothes that are own hired a tailor or dressmaker to produce clothes for them.


Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1900-01, p. 3.

Imagine a clothes catalogue who has 2 or 3 drawings regarding the kinds of garments carried. To purchase a gown or suit, you will be instructed to explain what you need: the kind of apparel, color, material, design, and price that is approximate. You need to indicate whether you’re young or “matronly, ” and have now any “peculiarity of form. ” You additionally have to outline twenty separate dimensions of the human body.

A hundred years back, you would certainly have been delighted! Think about the choice: You will have to result in the clothes your self, or spend a dressmaker or tailor to do this at greater price.

Today, hardly any of us have actually our clothes designed and sewn for people separately. We purchase clothes from the rack. But, before the mechanization regarding the clothes industry into the late nineteenth century, clothes had been produced by hand to suit a person that is particular.

To custom-make a waist or skirt(blouse), Eaton’s needed a description or illustration through the consumer. The catalogue illustrations served as inspiration. Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1899, p. 12.

The mail-order catalogue had been an important catalyst when it comes to change from custom-made to ready-made clothes. The very first catalogues competed with tailors and dressmakers by offering made-to-order items. 20 years later on, nevertheless, the mail-order businesses shut their customized dressmaking and millinery workrooms and started offering clients ready-to-wear clothes made by device in the growing amounts of clothes factories. Each step of the process of the method, Eaton’s had to reassure its clients – who had been familiar with having their clothes custom-made by way of a dressmaker or tailor – that the mail-order catalogue ended up being a appropriate alternative.

“We Supply Everything to create Your Own Personal”

As a result to an “immense enhance” in requests from clients through the mail, the Eaton’s issued its first catalogue in 1884. The catalogue was merely all of the the sorts of product sold when you look at the shop: carpets, blankets, material, underclothing such as for example corsets and crinolines, and, needless to say, clothes add-ons no woman must be without: fans, gloves, handkerchiefs, parasols.

Eaton’s began as being a dry products shop, holding materials, clothes add-ons, and home furnishings – as mirrored within the catalogues that are early. Quickly it could add many diverse items similar to today’s emporium. Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1884, p. 34 (reprint).

Eaton’s cautioned: “a female is certainly going pretty shabbily dressed before she’s going to walk the roads for a summer time with out a parasol. ” Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1893-94, p. 76.

A sizable the main catalogue ended up being devoted to “dress items, ” or materials, such as for instance flannels, velvets, black colored crape (for mourning), silk and im im printed cottons; needles, thread, buttons and other sewing notions; and, gown trimmings such as for instance lace and braid – every thing a lady would have to make her very own and her family members’ clothes. Eaton’s also provided dressmaking patterns.

Velveteen ended up being an extra textile utilized for anything from fancy kid’s matches to gowns evening. Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1898, p. 6.

Having a death into the household, ladies had been necessary to wear black colored for 3 months to per year. Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1889-1890, p. 15.

Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1897-98, p. 3.

Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1897, p. 9.

Clients had been instructed to explain their demands, as an example, “we want one thing in grey for the travelling dress, not to ever go beyond 75 cents a garden, plus idea in appropriate trimming. ” Eaton’s would then deliver types of fabrics and trim, from where the consumer would make a range.

Butterick had been a dressmaking pattern business and published a respected fashion mag. Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1900, p. 193.

“Or We Are Going To Ensure It Is for your needs”

When a female received the trim and fabric from Eaton’s, she’d then need to result in the apparel. Nearly all women could make dresses that are simple wear in the home. But, it, a lady employed a professional dressmaker to sew her formal costume, which, in the late 19th century, was elaborate in construction and materials if she could afford. Frequently, it contained a tight-fitting bodice adorned with braid and buttons and a multi-layered dress draped with fringed velvet or silk. Women relied upon the unique abilities of dressmakers – or “lady tailors” because they had been sometimes called – when you look at the fitting and draping of this expensive materials.

Eaton’s competed with this market. In 1898, it established its “Dressmaking and women’ Tailoring Order Department” so that they can woo away customers – specially ladies located in little villages or in the nation – from tiny dressmakers and tailors: “Ladies residing in the part that is remotest of Canada have every benefit of the newest fashions just as if located in Toronto. All work of positively the highest quality, beneath the guidance for the foremost Modiste in Canada. “

“Fit and Finish Guaranteed. Our company is practical Mail Order Dressmakers. ” Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1898, p. 5.

“Send us your purchase along with your dressmaking stress has ended. ” Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1899, p. 9.

Elaborate trimmings included fancy ribbons, egret feathers, and also entire birds. Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1896-97, p. 15.

Eaton’s made hats to purchase, aswell. Since no girl would endeavor outside her house with no cap, ladies needed to have at the least two caps – one for the fall/winter period plus one for spring/summer. The enormous caps had been sustained by an intricate foundation of intersecting wires covered in fabric and draped with rich fabrics festooned with feathers or silk flowers.

For the summer time, straw caps trimmed with plumes and silk plants were popular. Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1897, p. 15.

Decoration regarding the gown for the fin-de-siecle lady had been surpassed only by that on the hat. Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1893-94, p. 20.

By operating a big workroom of milliners, Eaton’s managed to keep rates down. Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1888-89, p. 18.

This crucial associated with the woman’s attire supplied ratings of females with act as milliners, or women’ hat manufacturers. Numerous milliners, like dressmakers, worked in little shops with 1 or 2 apprentices that are young. Eaton’s had its very own millinery workrooms with “an enormous staff. ” Eaton’s reassured perhaps sceptical clients it was appropriate to purchase caps by mail: “Millinery is straightforward to purchase by mail if you’re careful in purchasing. Clever clerks devote their entire time for you to anticipate the desires and desires of mail purchase customers. “

Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1898, p. 27.

Clients had been encouraged to offer detail by detail explanations of this design, colour, product, cutting, and cost of cap desired, along with information on what their age is, height, and fat. Hats had been matched to human body kinds, and presumably women were more honest in those times, because they were expected to mention if they had been “stout or thin. ” pictures of sample caps into the catalogues had been designed to offer clients notion of exactly what Eaton’s had to provide.

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