Early 1870's Riding Habit
This carte shows a transitional riding outfit from the 1860's to the 1870's. It still has the dropped shoulder seams and shape of bodice from the 1860's but is getting plainer foreshadowing later Victorian riding habit styles. She wears her hair up at the back in
a chignon (most of it is probably false hair) and her top hat tipped well forward which was considered extremely fashionable and dashing during the very early 1870's (the chignon and the tipped forward hat were also worn as regular dress by the fashionable, and is part of the Dolly Varden style).
Note her light colored gloves. Only women in mourning wear black gloves when riding sidesaddle. Click here
to see a fashion plate from 1871 showing a riding habit worn with a chignon and a tipped forward top hat. (From the collection of Leila Hidic)