A hundred years ago a lot of people made their clothes that are own hired a tailor or dressmaker which will make clothes for them.
Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1900-01, p. 3.
Imagine a clothes catalogue which has 2 or 3 drawings for the kinds of garments carried. To purchase a gown or suit, you might be instructed to explain what you would like: the kind of apparel, color, textile, design, and approximate cost. You have to suggest whether you’re young or «matronly, » while having any «peculiarity of shape. » You additionally have to send in twenty split dimensions of one’s human anatomy.
A hundred years back, you would certainly have been thrilled! Think about the choice: You would need to result in the clothes your self, or spend a dressmaker or tailor to do this at greater price.
To custom-make a dress or waistline (blouse), Eaton’s needed a description or illustration through the client. The catalogue illustrations served as motivation. Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1899, p. 12.
The mail-order catalogue had been an important catalyst for the change from custom-made to ready-made clothes. The very first catalogues competed with tailors and dressmakers by offering made-to-order items. Two decades later on, nevertheless, the mail-order businesses shut their customized dressmaking and millinery workrooms and started offering clients ready-to-wear clothes produced by device within the growing variety of clothes factories. Each step of the procedure associated with the way, Eaton’s needed to reassure its clients — have been used to having their clothes custom-made with a dressmaker or tailor — that the mail-order catalogue had been an alternative that is acceptable.
The Eaton’s issued its first catalogue in 1884 in response to an «immense increase» in orders from customers through the mail. The catalogue ended up being merely all of the the sorts of product sold when you look at the shop: carpets, blankets, material, underclothing such as for instance corsets and crinolines, and, needless to say, clothes add-ons no woman should really be without: fans, gloves, handkerchiefs, parasols.
Eaton’s began being a dry products shop, holding fabrics, clothes add-ons, and home furnishings — as mirrored within the very early catalogues. Quickly it might add many varied products similar to today’s emporium. Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1884, p. 34 (reprint).
Eaton’s cautioned: «a girl goes pretty shabbily dressed before she’s going to walk the roads for a summer time time without having a parasol. » Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1893-94, p. 76.
A big area of the catalogue had been devoted to «dress goods, » or materials, such as for example 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 example lace and braid — everything a lady would have to make her very own along with her family members’ clothing. Eaton’s also provided patterns that are dressmaking.
Velveteen had been an extra material useful for anything from fancy kid’s matches to gowns evening. Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1898, p. 6.
By having a death into the family members, ladies had been needed 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, for example, «we want something in grey for a travelling dress, to not meet or exceed 75 cents a garden, and a basic concept in appropriate trimming. » Eaton’s would then deliver examples of materials and trim, from where a selection would be made by the customer.
Butterick had been a dressmaking pattern business and published a respected fashion mag. Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1900, p. 193.
When a female received the textile and trim from Eaton’s, she’d then need to result in the apparel. Nearly all women could make easy dresses to 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. Often, it consisted of 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 often called — within 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 females located in tiny villages or perhaps in the nation — from tiny dressmakers and tailors: «Ladies Get More Information staying in the remotest component of Canada have actually every benefit of the most recent fashions as though residing in Toronto. All work of positively the quality that is best, underneath the direction for the foremost Modiste in Canada. «
«Fit and Finish Guaranteed. Our company is practical Mail Purchase Dressmakers. » Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1898, p. 5.
«Send us your purchase as well as your dressmaking stress is over. » Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1899, p. 9.
Elaborate trimmings included fancy ribbons, egret feathers, and also entire wild birds. Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1896-97, p. 15.
Eaton’s made hats to purchase, too. Since no girl would endeavor outside her house with no cap, ladies had to own at the least two caps — one for the fall/winter period and another for springtime/summer. The enormous caps were supported by an intricate foundation of intersecting wires covered in fabric and draped with rich materials festooned with feathers or silk flowers.
For the summer time, straw caps trimmed with plumes and silk plants had been popular. Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1897, p. 15.
Decoration regarding the gown regarding the fin-de-siecle lady ended up being surpassed only by that on her behalf hat. Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1893-94, p. 20.
By running a big workroom of milliners, Eaton’s managed to keep rates down. Eaton’s Fall/Winter Catalogue, 1888-89, p. 18.
This important for the woman’s attire supplied scores of females with act as milliners, or women’ cap manufacturers. Numerous milliners, like dressmakers, worked in tiny 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 if you are careful in ordering that it was appropriate to order hats by mail: «Millinery is easy to order by mail. Clever clerks devote their time that is whole to the desires and desires of mail purchase clients. «
Eaton’s Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1898, p. 27.
Clients had been advised to offer detailed explanations of this design, color, product, cutting, and cost of cap desired, along with information on how old they are, height, and fat. Hats had been matched to human anatomy kinds, and presumably women were more honest in those times, whether these were «stout or slim. Because they had been expected to convey» Illustrations of sample caps when you look at the catalogues had been supposed to offer clients a basic concept of exactly just exactly what Eaton’s needed to provide.