A look at Yesteryear's Fashions through Photographs
Women's Fashion - Late Nineteenth Century

About this Image:
1)  Portrait of Zulema LaCoste Herff (1855-1936). Zulema was the daughter of Jean Batiste LaCoste (1824-1887) and Manuela Menchaca (1831-1917). Her father established the first ice plant in the city. She married Ferdinand Herff, Jr. (1852-1927), a physician whose family made a name for themselves as early innovators in the medical field.

  In the photo, the fullness of her dress suggests that she is wearing a bustle. Newly introduced in the 1870s, this framework worn beneath the skirt just below the waist supported an additional fullness of fabric at the back. The deep color of the dress and its profusion of ruffles also reflected popular fashion choices of the time.

2)  This image features one of the first electric trolley cars traveling on North Flores Street, where two stylish women passengers stand on either side of the driver at the front. The woman closest to the camera sports a loose blouse with a bishop sleeve (full, but gathered at the wrist) and dark skirt typical of the late 1890s/early 1900s. Both women wear their hair upswept beneath wide brimmed hats worn perched forward on their heads.

3)   Josephine Edmunds (1867–1946), botanist and historian, stands in the yard at her home, now known as the Yturri–Edmunds Historic Site. She shows off a full blouse with puffed sleeves and a decorative yoke embellished with small ruffles resembling flowers.

Courtesy of San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation
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2) 18982) 1898
3) ca. 1890s3) ca. 1890s