The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

'The Fashions'. Walking dress and a useful toilet, November 1862

© National Portrait Gallery, London

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Buy a print Make a donation Close
  • Buy a print
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

'The Fashions'. Walking dress and a useful toilet, November 1862

published by Samuel Orchart Beeton, published in The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine, first published in Le Moniteur de la Mode
hand-coloured etching and line engraving, published November 1862
8 1/4 in. x 5 3/8 in. (211 mm x 135 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47998

Artistsback to top

This portraitback to top

Described in the magazine:
Walking Dress. - Left-hand figure - The materials of which this bonnet is composed are black and white tulle, black velvet, and blue ribbon. The front is of black velvet, the soft crown white tulle laid over black, and the curtain black velvet. A piece of broad blue ribbon is arranged over the bonnet, crossed at intervals by narrow bands of blue; and a plume of small black and blue feathers forms the trimming at the top of the chapeau. The bandeau, or inside trimming, consists of a blue bow, surrounded by black grass, and the strings are of the same ribbon as that which trims the outside. The dress is of blue moire antique, trimmed with graduated straps of velvet, edged with a tiny black lace. The bodice is arranged with three points behind and two points in front, and is trimmed with eight straps of velvet of different lengths, rounded at each end, and trimmed all round with lace. The sleeve is cut with a seam at the elbow, and is a shape that is likely to be very popular this winter. It is trimmed on the upper side only, with straps of velvet. A black silk dress, or a black watered silk, or moire antique, arranged precisely like this model, would be both stylish and effective. A linsey, ornamented with bands of silk, and edged with a tiny gimp, would make a pretty, and, at the same tune, a novel and uncommon dress.
A Useful Toilet. - The little cap is composed of white tulle, trimmed with fuchsine velvet, edged with narrow black lace. The dress is of plain black glacé silk, trimmed with thick black silk cord and tassels. The bodice is cut open a little way in front, en coeur (heart-shaped), and finished off round the neck with a little pointed turned-back collar, with a tassel attached to each point. The waist is round, and is worn with a band and clasp. The sleeve is cut with a seam at the elbow, and has a deep turned-back cuff, edged with cord, and laced at the seam with, cords and tassels. The skirt is lull, and very much gored, there being five plain widths and three gored widths in it. It is cut to form a demi-train behind, which will be seen on referring to our plate. The skirt is put on to the bodice in large box pleats, and these pleats are caught together by means of cords, laced across diamond-shaped, and terminating in two tassels.

Events of 1862back to top

Current affairs

The Lancashire cotton famine, a depression in the north-west textile industry brought about by the American civil war, reaches its climax. With large numbers of mills closing after Confederate blockades halted cotton supplies, many Lancashire families were in receipt of relief.

Art and science

Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard carry out the first pasteurisation tests, the process of heating liquids at 55 degree Celsius or higher for short periods of time, destroying viruses and harmful organisms such as bacteria and yeast. .
Victor Hugo's novel Les Miserables is published, covering the Napoleonic wars. It traces the ex-convict Jean Valjean's character against wider questions of social and political justice, duty and love.


Otto Eduard Leopold Bismarck becomes Minister-President of Prussia, appointed by Wilhelm I after the liberal Diet refused to authorise funding for a proposed reorganisation of the army. Bismarck, intent on maintaining royal supremacy, engineers the Unification of Germany during his time in office.
John Hanning Speke claims to have found the source of the Nile, proving that the Victoria Nile issued from the north end of lake Victoria, over Ripon Falls.

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.


Pioneer Podcasts

Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.

Explore the podcasts

Untitled, c.1973 (Alex Chilton) by William Eggleston © Eggleston Artistic Trust

Eggleston Playlist

William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.

Listen to the playlist

Archive interviews

Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.

Watch, listen and read