Log in
There’s so much more to discover

Fancy dress balls grew so popular in the late 19th century that numerous books were published to suggest new and creative costume ideas. The most popular of these was probably 'Fancy Dresses Described: or, What to wear at fancy balls' by Adrian Holt. It went through numerous editions throughout the 1880s and 1890s (several of which are viewable online) and listed hundreds of costume ideas.This hornet costume is from the 1884 edition. {Now let's's write a heroine dressed like a bee!}

Fashion Plate Print Masquerade Costume Party Ball (via Antique Fashion Plate Print Masquerade Costume

Champagne bottle dress worn by an unknown lady at a fancy dress party in 1902.

Fabulous bustle masquerade dresses

  • Josie Smith

    What do you think the red and blue is? Wish there was the description.

  • Gina White

    That's the one I really like....I wish it had a description too....

  • Aurora Lucia Marinella

    Perhaps the Swiss army uniform? White cross on red ground is the Swiss flag and the 1847 uniforms had a blue jacket with red trim and a V of silver buttons.

Fancy Dress Costume for Children, color fashion plate

Fancy Dress for the Family, color fashion plate

Fancy Dress Costumes for Men and Women, fashion color plate

Fancy dress ensembles from the September 1899  Moniteur de la Mode.

Fancy dress, 1877 La Mode Illustree, design by Adel Anais Tondouze

The HSF Challenge #22: Masquerade | The Dreamstress

The New Woman fancy dress costume. She wears a cloth tailor-made gown, and her bicycle is portrayed in front of it, together with the Sporting Times and her golf club ; she carries her betting book and her latch-key at her side, her gun is slung across her shoulder, and her pretty Tam o'Shanter is surmounted by a bicycle lamp. She has spats to her patent leather shoes, and is armed at all points for conquest. c. 1896

Sunflower and Lilly of the Valley from Buttericks Fancy Drills for Entertainments, 1897