The Ladies Ulster in the 1870s and 1880s: From “Eccentric-Looking” to “Beau Ideal”

Hannah Rumball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The nineteenth century tailored overcoat, The Ladies’ Ulster, is an important garment for dress and textile historians because it reframes our understanding of period women’s attire through its untrimmed, waterproof and functional design. Despite this only a little research has been conducted on the garment. This article focuses on the evolution of the overcoat in the first two decades of its adoption. It examines the critical reception of the Ladies Ulster in the 1870 s when it was described initially as “eccentric-looking” (The Sportsman, November 15, 1873), and considers its design evolution to become considered by the end of the 1880 s a “a beau ideal lady’s coat” (The Queen, June 18, 1887).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalTextile: Journal of Cloth and Culture
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Tailoring
  • Nineteenth century
  • Waterproof
  • women
  • sport history
  • active-wear
  • active women
  • nineteenth century
  • the Ulster
  • tailors
  • waterproofing


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