Regency Fashion For March

What were they wearing in March during the Regency? Well As usual, I have a couple of treats for you.
I did want to tell you about my exciting news - if you haven't heard already. No Regrets was nominated by Foreword Magazine for the Book of the Year Award. Now we have to wait for the result, but just being nominated is an honor.

Now to our March Fashions, my favorite part of the month, with thanks and acknoledgements to Moonstone Research and Publications. See the link in the sidebar. This bit of elegance is a morning dress or a carriage dress from 1811. It is quite lovely, in my opinion. And very suitable for the blustery winds of March.

LA Belle Assemblee describes it as follows:

"A bias corded muslin dress, a walking length, with long sleeves, made high in the neck, with collar; buttoned down the front of the waist with narrow lilac satin ribband. Sash tied in a bow in front; a border of plain muslin, or lace, round the bottom. A square of lilac satin, with richly embroidered border in white silk, and tassels to correspond, is thrown over the shoulders in the form of a shawl, and is cut down the back to give it a more easy and graceful appearance about the figure. A simple white chip hat, tied round the crown in a bow in front of lilac satin ribband. The hair in full curls over the forehead. Pearl earrings. Gloves and shoes of pale lemon, or lilac coloured kid."

These next two are from the Ladies Monthly Museum. A morning gown and an evening gown as you can see. Very ornate, already losing the classic drapery of the fashions above, they show heavy trim around the hem. The lacy overdress on the evening gown is beautiful, with a lace edging and the wavy hem trimmed with tassles is a lovely effect for the underskirt.

The crown of roses for the evening gown must have made this young lady walk with great trepidation. It would be like having a book on your head I should think. Worse than any up-do we suffer through these days.

This last is from 1810 La Belle Assemblee. To me these almost look like two versions of the same gown using different fabrics.

Evening Full Dress.
A white satin round dress, with half yard train, laced up the back and seams with gold twist, ornamented round the neck with a full twill of frosted stain or white crape, and down the front and at the wrist with gold braiding, and small drop buttons. It is made to sit high on the neck; cut to a point in the centre of the bosom and back: a gold band encircles the waist. A white satin Emsdorf helmet trimmed with gold, ornamented with two white craped ostrich feathers. White satin shoes embroidered with gold; white kid gloves; gold necklace and ear-rings; cornelian brooch. The hair dressed in ringlets on each side of the face, with a long Theresa curl falling over the left shoulder.

Second Evening Dress
An India muslin train over a white satin petticoat. A bodice of green velvet, ornamented at the seams with gold braiding, and trimmed round the neck with a twill of green crape or velvet. A Spanish cap, with green craped ostrich feathers.

Personally, I am not keen on the Emsdorf helmet, but is apparently fashioned after the helmet worn by the 15th light dragoons who defeated the French at Emsdorf in 1760. So I assume it had a patriotic attraction.

Well that's it for my rambling today. Hope to see you next time.

Flora and Fauna of Regency Britain - March

Spring is definitely around the corner for those of us who live in the north part of the northern hemiesphere, but it does seem to be taking its time. Finally, today wehad rain instead of snow, but there is still about afoot of crunchy white stuff on my deck.

March in England. Interestingly enough, I was in my critique group last week and one member said, Oh, you've got a problem here, you have green fields and bare trees. Yes. I said. Thenrealized, that here in Canada, Toronto, our fields are not green in the winter.

I wonder how many readers will be puzzled by that little fact? I don't see how I can go off on a tangent to explain, but I think that this shows why I do these Flora and Fauna columns.

Anyway, the picture above and to the left is the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, taken by me on January 6 2008 across the green fields and showing naked trees. I know, not March, but I think it illustrates the point. I will have some more photos of my January trip later in the month.

As usual, we will take and look and see what our naturalists diary says for March during the Regency period.

One of the thing I recall as a child were the tiny green shoots in the hedgerows in March. The naturist tells us that gooseberry, currant, elder comes into leaf on March 11. My, how precise! But I think this was a one year observation, but you get the general idea.

At the beginning of March, the hedge-sparrow commences its chirping note, as indicative of the approach of the pairing season. A hedge sparrow is different to other sparrows, only in that it has a very tiny beak. It is also known as a dunnock. It looks very much like a house sparrow, but is in fact a completely different family.

And of course March is when we see daffodils. Daffodils were brought to England by the Romans and immortalized by William Wordsworth in 1804. And what better herald of spring with their bright colors.

I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

What more can I say, after that. Until next time--Happy Rambles.

Regency Fashion March

Well I only managed one post last week, blame it on jet lag. Hopefully things are back to normal and I can get back on my normal schedule. There is just so much I want to do. Fashions and houses and update my website. I am working on a newsletter and I also want to add more links to this blog. When I changed to the new format I lost some of my neat links and I really want to put them back. But... I am just finishing up my next novel. I have done a huge edit on the manuscript and am about to enter them in the computer. I tell you, when I get writing, I just cannot drag my self away.

But 'ere we go (as the earwig said as he went over the cliff)~~Fashions

As it turns it turns out I have oodles of fashions for March.
Here we have 1804
March 1804 Fashions reprinted from the 1804 Lady’s Monthly Museum.

1. The dress to the left is described in the Ladies Monthly Museum as "A short round Dress of White Muslin, with a Pelisse of Purple Velvet. A straw hat, ornamented with a Pink Wreath. Feathers to match the Pelisse. Bear Muff. Purple shoes."
As you can see, the hem is much shorter for this walking dress than those called full dress, to the right, which would have been worn at home, rather than dragging around the filthy streets. And look at the size of that Muff. I have a pair of purple shoes.

2. A Cap of French Velvet and lace Ornaments, with Roses in front. A Dress of Plain or sprigged Muslin. Sleeves trimmed with lace. Fashionable shawl. Buff Gloves. Fan.
I always loved it when Georgette Heyer talked about "sprigged muslin". It sounds so romantic.In this picture of course they show the plain muslin.
3. A Mameluke Turban of White Satin; White Ostrich Feather, with Gold Ornaments. A Tunick of Pink crape, trimmed with white Lace, and White Tassels. White Muslin petticoat. Pink shoes.
Don't you wonder who wrote this stuff? Look at the crazy spelling of tunic. Or is it us?

I found this from The Ladies Monthly Museum 1807 quite intriguing. It really is all about the hats!
Fig. 1. Mantle of fawn coloured Kersimere, trimmed with white velvet; Bonnet of Velvet, ornamented with black.
Fig. 2. Pelisse of puce coloured Silk, trimmed round the neck and down the front with white lace; Bonnet same colour as Pelisse.
Fig. 3. Dress of fine Muslin; Sleeves of white Sattin; Sash tied in front; Cap of white Sattin, with small Feathers.
Fig. 4. Train of pink Silk; Lace let in the back; full top Sleeves of white Crape; Turban of pink and white Crape , with Ostrich Feathers.
Fig. 5. Robe of Primrose Crape, trimmed down the front and round the breast with white Lace; Sleeves striped alternately with sarsnet and lace; white sarsnet Petticoat; Kid Gloves.

Moving on to 1809
, this dress is from Ackerman's Repository.
The collar is very high. Here is how they described it in the magazine. ". A Polish cap, and pelisse of silver grey cloth, trimmed with gold or silver, buttoned down the front with small round buttons, a high collar, with a lace ruff; boots of same colour as the pelisse, and both embroidered with gold or silver. York tan gloves.
This dress was transmitted to a lady of high rank from Warsaw, and would alone evince the taste and elegance of the ladies of that country, were they not already sufficiently known." They often used York tan gloves, and they always color them yellow in the pictures.

1815 Elegance Again from Ackerman's
"Pelisse of short walking length, made of evening-primrose coloured velvet, ornamented down the front with satin trimming; round capes, trimmed to correspond; full lace ruff. A French bonnet, composed of white velvet and satin in reverse plaitings, trimmed round the edge with a quilting of lace; full plume of ostrich feathers in the front. Half-boots of tan-coloured kid. Gloves, Limerick or York tan."
When I read evening primrose, I expected yellow. I really must take a look and see just what an evening primrose is!

Our last picture is from 1818
, and if you look across the fourteen years you get a good impression of the evolution of fashion.

Note the bell-like hem and the heavy trim around the skirt of the gown. And what about those stripes. They remind me of the deckchairs we used to rent on Brighton Beach as children. Isn't he a cute little dog?

Well, that is March. I have put up a few more on my website for you to take a peak.
Happy Rambles, see you on Thursday!

Regency Flora and Fauna - March

On a Personal Note:
Well, it was a sad occasion but we visited with family and offered each other comfort. There is certainly a big hole in our hearts for my mother-in-law was a wonderful lady, always smiling, always on top of the world. She didn’t want any miserable sods at her funeral, or anyone in black, so we wore our spring blues and greens and pinks and we sang All Things Bright and Beautiful in a tiny 18th century church in the Welsh hills. The sun shone and I think Kit, aka Grannie, would have approved.

Our trip crossed two months, but given the mild winter experienced in England and given everyone’s comments, “things” were early by perhaps a week or so. We were in Wales and as you might have guessed from the picture above. Yes, it was St. David’s day while we were there. Apparently the costume pictured here came into being in the 18th century with a revival of nationalistic feeling. We passed a schoolyard and all the little girls were dressed in their national dress with a daffodil pinned to their shawls and all the boys had leeks pinned to their sweaters.
Do you like this Welsh dragon? I do. And I love the way the Welsh speak English. It is very musical. Of course the Welsh are a very musical people. If you ever have a chance to listen to a Welsh male choir grab it.

Everywhere we went in England and Wales daffodils bloome, crocus and primroses grew on the banks of the highways, nodding in the breeze like sleepy children. In No Regrets, my heroine picks a primrose bouquet.

The hedgerows and trees were bare of leaves, but the white blooms of the blackthorns were a beautiful contrast and the gorse was covered in yellow flowers.

Spring was truly in the air, especially for the rooks who were clearly visible rebuilding their nests in just about every stand of trees. Do you remember a few blogs ago when I promised you a picture of a rookery? Well I found one. Here is the picture I took just off the M4. This is a small rookery, sometimes there are as many as a dozen or more nests, but I think you can get the idea. Those big black birds are the rooks!!!!

The fields were very green, and of course we had a fair bit of rain, but the weather was decidedly balmy, with patches of blue sky and wind-whipped clouds. I noticed that the bluebells were already sending up shoots. I love bluebells. But more about them later. The next pictures are views of the Vale of Neath from the top of a very high hill. I think it gives a great sense of the countryside, the weather and the green of the fields.

It’s good to be back. I think next we will do March fashions.

Happy Rambles.