Dressing Sophronia from the Corset Up (Finishing School Special Extras)

Good day Fashionable Reader,

Today I’m posting all about what Sophronia was wearing under all those floofy dresses I describe in the Finishing School series. These books take place in the 1850s before the crinoline so the underpinnings are rather interesting.

For those of us who are obsessed with such things.

I hope you enjoy this, I had a lot of fun pulling it together.

A dress like this, worn as a daytime garment for classes:

1850s Ensemble  Nordiska Museet


Sophronia might also carry:

1850s Parasol  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Or perhaps…

1867 Fan Souvenir de l’exposition universelle

Her first layer under that outfit:

Under the dress above, she’d be wearing something like this:

Accessory Set 1850s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art: a lace tuck or collar, and sleeve extensions.
Corset Cover  1864-1868  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Stocking  1860  Les Arts Décoratifs
Shoes  1854-1860  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

There would also be gloves, of course.

The next Layer under that:

Underneath those we have…

 Corset  Roxy Ann Caplin, 1851  The Museum of London

1855-1865  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Likely there would also be something like split drawers, but I couldn’t find a good image from this particular time period.

Note that there is no cage crinoline, it is introduced to England after the Finishing School series.

Similar foundation garments might go under Sophronia’s transformation gown.

The Transformation Gown

If she were going out visiting and paying calls she would wear this:

Robe à Transformation  1855  The Metropolitan Museum of Art2


With these over it:

Accessory Set  1850s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


And for an evening ball, this version of the dress…

1855 Robe à Transformation  1855  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


With these in her hair:

1850 Headdress & Bouquet  Mid 19th Century   MFA


And this to ward off the chill:

Cape  1855  The Metropolitan Museum of Art


This post originally appeared on Retro Rack.

Yours in perpetual transformation,

Miss Gail

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2 Responses

  1. Rhiannon Lynn said:

    The transformation dress puts me in mind of a jellyfish — floating innocently through the ocean of fashion, all floaty and transparent. 😉

  2. Pingback: The Great Parasolverse Read Along ~ Waistcoats & Weaponry DVD Extras (Finishing School Special) - Gail Carriger - Gail Carriger

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