Girl's Historical Clothing: Chronological Listings--the 1880s

Figure 1.--This German girk was photographed at the H. Bimpage studio in Lüneburg. I'm not sure where that is in Germany. The portrait is undated, but looks like the 1880s to us. Her hair is done with a center part and back pigtails. She wears a dress with a snall collar, front buttons, and long sleeves. The dress looks to be done with a separate jacket/bodice and longer skirt with heavy rucking, although it mat be a one-piece dress--difficult to tell from the photograph. She holds a rather oriental-looking wide brimmed hat with a wide, long white streamers. (I'm not syre if it is pinned up for the portrait or was worn looped over. We'never noted girls wearuing streamers like this.) Image courtesy of BP collection.

Women wore dresses that had bodices with a more hour-glass shape. The sleeve and shoulders beginning to rise (which blossom into the huge shoulders of the 90s). The front of skirt loose the more involved drapery of the 70s, but acquire the heavy ornamentation of the 80s. Trains do not have the fishtail of the mid- to late-70s. The sleeves are set in at the shoulder. Hair styles are often small and close set. Girl's wore dresses with straight bodices, dropped waists and plain round skirt--a hallmark 1880s style. Both women and girls wore bustles. Girls sailor dresses and dresses with sailor styling increase in popularity. Wide-brimmed sailor hats are even more common. Girls bangs have a destinctive style. Pinafores are very commonly worn over dresses at home and to school. Long stockings become common, especially for older girls. We are including images of boys in dresses because this helps to add to our information on dress styles.


1880s: White pinafore: English girl

1880s: Sailor hats and coats: English sisters

1880s: Matching sailor suits: English brother and sister

1880s: White dress and sun hat: English girl riding

1880s: Pinafore and dress: English girl


1880: Fancy summer dress: American girl



1882: Dress: French girls

1882: Dresses: American school girls

1882: Dresses: American teenagers


1883: Suit-like dress: German girl

1883: Matching sister dresses and little boy velvet dress: Scottish children

1883: Suits and dresses Danish family


1884: Dress: French girl

1884: Sailor dress: French girl

1884: White dress: American frontier girl

1884: Homemade dresses and head scarves: Rural Swedish girls


1885: Bonnets and white dresses: Canadian girls

1885: Dressesand velvet suit: English children

About 1885: Little girl's dress: German girl


1886: Middy blouse: English girl

1886: White low-waisted dress: American girl with mother and brother

1886: Long dresswith lace collar: American girl and brothers



1888: Low neckline dressScottish boy


1889: Fashionable dress: American girl

1889: Dark smock: Austrian girl

1889: Schoolwear: English school children


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main girl's chronology page]
[Return to the Main girl's page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronologies] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Essays] [Theatricals]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 6:43 PM 8/5/2004
Last updated: 4:59 AM 8/8/2016