Friday, November 9, 2007

Regency Fashions for November

In the Regency, just like now, the nights were drawing in, as we say in England. This really means the sun was rising and setting early in the evening. And of course, the temperatures were dropping. So just what sort of fashions were they promoting for these cooler months.

This one is from November 1814 La Belle Assemblee. Short pelisse of deep lilac, shot with white; and on each hip a Spanish button. It is made with a collar up to the throat, and trimmed round with rich fur; sleeves long and loose, with a fur at bottom to form a cuff, rather shorter in front than behind, and two Spanish buttons are placed just at the bottom of the pelisse in front, which fastens with a loop crossing from one to the other. The bosom is ornamented in the same manner; a belt of embroidered ribband round the waist, and a gold clasp in front. A bonnet of the same materials as the pelisse, crown a helmet shape, front very small, and a wreath of laurel round it; three white feathers are placed at the back of the bonnet, and fall over the front; broad ribband, same as the bonnet, is pinned plain under the chin. The hair is brought very low at the sides, and a single curl on the forehead. Buff gloves, and dark brown kid boots. Large silver bear muff."

Quite lovely and it looks reasonably warm.

These on the other hand, from Ackerman's Repository look like they would only be worn indoors although one is labelled "walking".Walking Dress [standing]— Robe of White Indian muslin, with Spanish vest and Flemish skirt, ornamented at the bottom, bosom, and sleeves with needlework, or appliquéd lace; antique cuffs, pointed collar, fastened in the center of the throat with a topaz broach. Bonnet á la Mary Queen of Scots, composed of intertwined crape and straw, and lined throughout with rose-coloured sarsnet; the extremity of the crown finished with Vandyke scallops in white satin, the edges terminated with straw; a small bouquet of autumnal flowers in front, blended with bows of white satin ribbon, and tied under the chin with the same. French tippet of leopard skin shag. Shoes and gloves of rose-coloured kid. Now bonnet a la Mary Queen of Scots sounds interesting.
Morning Dress [seated] — A plain muslin round gown with long sleeves, and embroidered habit shirt; short sleeves over, composed of alternate lace and muslin; habit shirt trimmed round the throat with a deep lace. Muslin spencer jacket without sleeves, very short, trimmed round the arm-holes, bosom, and waist with lace. A helmet cap, formed of alternate lace and stripes of embroidery; finished on the crown with a square of lace, edged with beading; in the front, full quillings, or gathered lace, formed in a sort of turban; the cap tied under the chin with white ribbon. Gloves and shoes of buff-coloured kid.


It seems to me that it would require a balmy day to be abroad in these two outfits, unless you are promenading around your drawing room. Which is something we see in Pride and Predjudice, the two ladies walking and talking as around the room, while others look on. How constraining that must have felt.

By the way I will be at Chapters, Scarborough (Kennedy Commons), signing No Regrets. Yes, indeed, it is on the shelf. If you are out and about on Saturday, do drop in and say hello.

Until next time, Happy Rambles.