Monday, November 3, 2008

Regency Fashion For November

We put our clocks back an hour this past weekend. How very parsimonious of us to save an hour a day, Jane Austen might say. Sadly the early rising of today, will soon slip away. It was nice not to get up in the dark, I must say, but I do find the shorter days and dark evenings a gloomy herald to winter.

Which of course takes us to fashions for November. I have a couple of gems for you today, which I hope you will enjoy.

This one is and evening gown from Ackerman's Repository 1813.

A round robe of blossom-coloured crape, with demi-train, worn over a white satin slip, gather frock back and stomacher front; the sleeve unusually short, and back and bosom uncommonly (not to say unbecomingly) exposed. The sleeves and neck of the robe ornamented with puckered white satin, and a fancy border round the bottom composed of white satin and crape, the same as the dress; belt of the same round the bottom of the waist, confined with a pearl, or other appropriate clasp, in front. The hair in irregular curls, divided in front, and confined on the crown of the head with white beads and blended with small autumnal flowers of various hues. Necklace, a single row of pearl or the satin bead; a small elastic chain of Oriental gold, from which is suspended a large convent cross of diamonds. Earrings and bracelets of pearl, with diamond studs. French kid gloves, below the elbow. Slipper of white satin, decorated round the instep with silver fringe. Indian fan of carved ivory.

The level of detail in this description from the hair to the the indian fan are a writer's dream. Even using some of these details would bring an outfit to life. Note the blossom-coloured gown. Now what color is blossom? Clearly for this picture a soft pink. It sounds pretty.

This next gown, a walking gown, is also from Ackerman's Repository and is from November 1814, a year later.


An Italian striped sarsnet lilac-coloured dress, ornamented round the bottom with a double quilling of satin ribband; short full sleeve, trimmed to correspond; the fronts of the dress cross the bosom and form an open stomacher; a Vandyke French ruff, and full bordered cap to correspond. The satin straw hat, tied under the chin with a check or striped Barcelona handkerchief, crossing the crown with a small plume of ostrich feathers in front. French shawl, a white twill, embroidered with shaded scarlet and green silks, and fancifully disposed on the figure. Gloves, Limerick or York tan, drawn over the elbow. Half-boots of York tan or pale buff kid.

I find this one fascinating. Not because I like it, because actually I don't, but because there is so much frill going on. The Vandyke French ruff and the bonnet just don't make me want to rush out and buy it, but again the detailed descriptions are wonderfully helpful. Do you think it would be warm enough for blustery November? Even the shawl looks a little on the thin side.

Hope you enjoyed our usual beginning of the month feature and are looking forward to flora and fauna next time. The Lady Flees Her Lord is now available on Amazon and hopefully at a store near you.

Happy Rambles.