The variety of material for traveling and walking dresses is wonderful, still the color is always some shade of gray, or black and white. There are stripes, chenes, small black and white plaids, etc., etc., of all qualities, from eighteen and three-quarter cents to one dollar and twenty-five cents a yard. The black and white plaid is by no means confined to persons in mourning; in fact, some of the most fashionable and stylish dresses of the season are made of it. Silks of this description are very much in demand; and one of the most beautiful organdie dresses made is of a black and white stripe, with narrow ruffles, bound with currant-color ribbon. India silks, which for several years have been unattainable on account of the Eastern difficulties, are again to be bought. These light, soft silks make the pleasantest articles to wear imaginable, and they have the advanatge of being as washable as white muslin.
White bodies are becoming very fashionable, the latest novelty being the Russian body like that in our wood engraving; though some prefer the high neck to the square one.
The form for dresses is as nearly as possible the same at it has been for some time past. The skirts are invariably full, and the custom recently introduced of cutting gores from the top of the breadths, to render the skirt less ample at the waist than at the lower part, is now very generally followed for silk dresses.
Skirts still continue to be trimmed around the bottom, three ruffles put on in festoons being rather newer than any other style; though every one follows their own fancy in the matter of trimming.
Black lace is very generally used in trimming, and is even put on some of the darker colored organdies. Some of the white bodies of which we spoke above, have sleeves puffed from the shoulders to the wrist, the puffings separated by a band of black velvet, edged on each side with a ros of straw.
Wedding dresses are beginning to be trimmed with swan's-down. This is particularly beautiful on white satin, or in fact on satin of any color.
Mantillas are in great variety, the white ones being usually in the style of those in our wood engravings; whilst the black silk, which are worn by many all summer, are generally loose sacques, called the "Chesterfield," and trimmed to suit the taste of the wearer: though as a general thing they are only corded either in black, purple, or white. There are also some large round, circulars with round, full hoods, and a few made with two deep box-plaits at the back, which make the mantle hang like a clergyman's gown, or somewhat like the "Queen Caroline" dress in our April number.
Bonnets are larger than they have been, and are usually trimmed on the top near the front.
Head-dresses are still worn, the latest style being the coronet form. One of the prettiest which we have seen was made of ruched white tulle, with black velvet heartsease, embroidered in gold, mingled with the ruching. Two lappets were fastened by a very large heartsease also embroidered in gold, which formed a cache-peigne behind. A plain black velvet coronet, pointed in the front, and with a single stud or ornament in the middle, is a very stylish coiffure, and very becoming to some faces. Black velvet coronets, with gold wheat-ears, make pretty head-dresses, and may be worn in slight mourning.
Fans - The fashionable fans consist of lace. White and black lace is manufactured expressly for these fans, and is placed over colored silk. Fans of white lace are mostly lined with pink, lilac, or orange silk. White silk is generally used for fans of black lace; but for these colored silk is also often employed. The handles of these fans are formed of mother-of-pearl, and many of them are very richly set with jewels. A fan of black lace over white silk, and mounted on a handle of mother-of-pearl, unadorned with any ornament of gold, is in the best taste. Several very pretty fans, though less recherche than those just mentioned, are composed chiefly of white, pink, or black crape, spangled with gold or steel, and fringed with marabout.