Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

The last few days have been busy, but that is of course no excuse for not keeping to our content publishing schedule here at The New Leaf Journal. Last month, I published an expose on the latest autumnal trends in dresses – if by “latest” we mean “October 1850,” of course. I did not expect to return to the subject of women’s fashion so soon, being that I am neither a woman nor particularly fashionable, but events, if by “events” we mean “fishing for a prompt for a short post in the evening,” have a tendency to intervene in unexpected ways.

A Fashionable Find on Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg posts its most recently added content on its homepage. Today, I found an intriguing new entry titled “Graham’s Magazine,” the January 1841 edition, to be exact. According to Wikipedia, Graham’s Magazine was a Philadelphia-based periodical that was published from 1841-1858. We appear to have caught the magazine early in its life span for this article.

The Latest Winter Fashions for January 1841

I scrolled through the magazine looking for an idea for an article until I found a picture captioned “THE LATEST FASHIONS, JANUARY 1841, FOR GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE.” Below, you will find the latest fashions for January 1841 in Philadelphia:

An illustration of three women in fashionable dresses from the January 1841 edition of Graham's Magazine.
“THE LATEST FASHIONS, JANUARY 1841, FOR GRAHAM’S MAGAZINE” – clipped from Graham’s Magazine, Jan. 1841 edition.

After kindly offering women in The New Leaf Journal’s growing audience information about the latest in autumnal fashion, I thought it would be helpful to preview some ideas for winter fashion. While I am not a shopping expert, perhaps there will still be some winter fashion sales available. Sadly, I rely on others to explain complicated dresses, and unlike Harper’s last month, Graham’s assumed that its audience would readily understand the above dresses.

From what I can infer from the picture, it appears that three-skirt dresses were “in” for January 1841. If I am correct in my interpretation of the picture, this would represent a marked difference from New York in 1850, when Harper’s explained that double- and quintuple-skirted dresses were in vogue. We also see a bonnet on the woman in the center in what seems to me to be a dress for at-home wear. This appears to be different from the trends discussed in Harper’s as well.

Parting Shots

While I could not offer as much analysis of these dresses as I was able to for last month’s Harper’s article, I was at least able to show you an interesting picture from a classy 1841 magazine. With that, I conclude my monthly fashion content. Because I may have inadvertently created a strange New Leaf Journal tradition, I suppose I will try to find some new fashion content for December as well. You can count on our humble online magazine to keep you abreast of the very latest in fashion.