Dolly Varden (costume)
The term Dolly Varden in dress is generally understood to mean a brightly patterned, usually flowered, dress with a polonaise overskirt gathered up and draped over a separate underskirt. The overdress was typically made from printed cotton or chintz, although it can be made from other materials such as lightweight wool, silk and muslin. A 1869 fashion doll in the collection of the V&A Museum of Childhood is dressed in the Dolly Varden mode; unusually the outfit is in dark colours. The Gallery of Costume in Manchester holds a more typical Dolly Varden dress in its collections, made of white linen with a pink and mauve flowered print.
The 'Dolly Varden' fashion fad inspired many popular songs, such as G.W. Moore's Dressed In A Dolly Varden and Alfred Lee's novelty song Dolly Varden (published Cleveland, 1872) which contains the lyrics:
Have you seen my little girl? She doesn’t wear a bonnet.
She’s got a monstrous flip-flop hat with cherry ribbons on it.
She dresses in bed furniture just like a flower garden
A blowin’ and a growin’ and they call it Dolly Varden.
- The Ladies' Treasury (2005). "Fashion in the 1870s and '80s". Retrieved 2010-02-06.
- 1869 Fashion doll wearing Dolly Varden costume in the collection of the V&A Museum of Childhood. Accessed 6 February 2010
- Dolly Varden dress in the collections database of the Gallery of Costume, Manchester. Accessed 6 February 2010
- = Scans of two 1872 Dolly Varden themed music sheets
- Levey, W. C. The Dolly Varden (polka music) composed by W.C. Levey Accessed 6 February 2010
- Marciochi, Peter B. Moyle ; illustrated by Alan; Dyck, Chris van (1977). Inland fishes of California. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 145. ISBN 9780520029750.
- A more in-depth examination of various contemporary references to the Dolly Varden fashion, with illustrations