C.1865-1866. This is a stunning zouave
in a bright red lightweight wool, trimmed with contrasting bands of black/white edged braid. The edges of the jacket are trimmed by pleated white (most of
it now is discolored to a beige) taffeta which once had lace covering it. Most of the lace is now gone but could be recovered with new lace. The zouave jacket is completely handsewn, with the dropped shoulders and the neckline being piped. The jacket features a trimmed peplum
at the back
to emphsize an elliptical crinoline. There are two white taffeta covered buttons on the peplum as well that once had lace coverings but they could be recovered or worn as is. The inside of the jacket is lined in white glazed cotton with the two fronts of the jacket lined on top in white silk.
I'm not sure if the silver buttons and the lambswool neck are original to the jacket but they are definately old and were added on if not soon after the jacket was made. It's in good strong wearable condition and could be worn today for reenacting with some cosmetic restoration. There are some little moth holes throughout the peice as can be expected of a wool garment 140 years old but they are not really conspicous, and there are some little blackish dirt colored spots on some areas of the peice.
What's nice about this jacket is that it's in a wearable size! Measurements: Neck: 15", shoulders: 20" (these are dropped measurements, shoulders up to 16" would be ideal), Bust up to 40"/42", waist anysize. The sleeves are 3/4 length at 19". A Garibaldi blouse with narrower sleeves
would have been worn underneath with the bottoms of the sleeves showing. I'm a US size 16/ UK size 18 and can fit into this although my bust is a little
big for it at 44". It's just a really lovely stunning jacket that is just so easy to wear (for those days when you don't feel like corsetting tightly) and in a unusual color and size.
(Formerly L. Hidic)