Picnic accessories for 1871

For a lady or gentleman on their way to a picnic in 1871 the proper accessories were absolutely essential.

Most of all, you need a hat to protect your skin from the summer sun.

Men and women could go for something practical, with a nice, wide brim:

Hat, 1871-1874, Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Hat, 1870-1879, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Boater Hat, 1860-1870

Bonnet, 1868, Metropolitan Museum of Art

But, more commonly, women would go for very fashionable, but completely impractical, tiny bonnets perched on the top of their heads:

Clearly, green and brown were very popular colours for headwear in the late 1860s and early 1870s, though I have found a few examples in other shades, such as this lavender trimmed lovely, and I’m quite in love with this dark blue bonnet.

All this ornamental headgear would necessitate that the women also carry parasols, to shade their skin where the hats did not.

I’m quite enamored of this fetching fringed aqua example:

Parasol, American or European, 1860-1870, Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lace was a popular choice, and an excellent way to show your wealth:

Parasol, American, 1855-1870, Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Of course, most women had to settle for much simpler parasols, such as these examples:

For footwear, men would wear leather boots, and women would wear leather or cloth side or front fastening boots:

Boots, 1865-75, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Children, both girls and boys, would wear similar boots:

Child's boots, 1860s, Metropolitan Museum of Art

It's very calm over here, why not leave a comment?

Leave a Reply




Meet the Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes is the Dreamstress, a textile historian, seamstress, designer, speaker and museum professional. Leimomi is available for educational and entertaining presentations, textile and fashion advice, special commissions and events. Click to learn more

Come sew with us!


Archives