Question: neckline on the #410 polonaise

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Val
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Question: neckline on the #410 polonaise

Postby Val » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:29 am

We're having a discussion on the square neckline of the polonaise as to whether it would be open in the daytime, or if this is just an evening dress.
I've been wearing 5 different ones I've made from this pattern, which I LOVE btw, and have never closed it in with either a chemisette or lace during the daytime.
Am I wrong?
Val
Heather
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Re: Question: neckline on the #410 polonaise

Postby Heather » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:03 pm

Yes, I saw that on FB. No, you are not wrong, an open neckline can be worn for daytime functions prior to 1880's. Probably not in the morning, but as an afternoon dress it would be fine. I will also suggest that wearing an open neck in the daytime would most likely be class related, with the upper classes being more inclined to an open neckline, and the lower classes dead against it. Lower classes wouldn't be changing for afternoons, and a low neckline might risk being seen as being of "ill repute", for lack of a better term.

Middle class, maybe either way, with more formal occasions allowing an open neck, and more casual a high neckline. Again, I would say that reputation would have an impact. If a lady was above suspicion, then she might wear that lower neckline without injury to her reputation. Also, this may be age related, with unmarried girls wearing open necklines, but married women being more conservative. Hot weather would also allow for open necklines.

By the natural from era, the daytime open neckline is reduced to a "V" neck, or "en Coeur" neckline. By the Late Bustle Era, the open daytime neckline to completely gone.

While most open daytime neckline did have a chemisette to help soften the look, the chemisette did not have to have a high neck. Often a square neck would be filled in with a chemisette with a V neckline. Or I have seen a square neck filled in with a bit of tulle, that just came down the sides of the neckline, but left the clevage uncovered. (1869 walking dress, shown page 17 of Harpers Bazar 1867-1989) Just look through the Harpers Bazar book and you will find several examples of open daytime necklines.
Val
Inquiring Mind
Posts: 153
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:11 am
Location: El Cajon, CA

Re: Question: neckline on the #410 polonaise

Postby Val » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:23 pm

Thank you. I kinda knew the 70s were a bit more relaxed but wanted to make sure I wasn't making it up myself.

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