Regency Fashion ~ June

by Michele Ann Young

Well, it is so long since I posted, I had trouble remembering what to do. Did you miss us? We missed you.

We had a lovely time in England and Ireland, and have lots of pictures to share, over the next little while, but first we need to get our regular features out of the way. Oh, I really shouldn't say that, because I love the fashion feature.

This delightfully classic gown, right down to the lyre our model is holding, is a wonderful example of an early Regency gown.

It appeared in the Ladies Monthly Museum for 1812

Evening Party Dress.—A Egyptian robe of peach blossom, evening primrose or lilac, shot with white or day primrose colour, apron sleeves and front crape en suite, trimmed with rose buds and terminated with silver acorns; white satin hat with regency plume; white gloves and shoes; armlet and earrings of gold.

Once more we have the text calling it an evening gown while the picture is labelled afternoon. But as we know, afternoons during the regency did not begin until four or five o'clock it is no wonder they are just as confused as we are.

This version of the gown is the lilac one, by my reckoning. The description 'apron sleeves' is interesting for this gown along with the silver acorns. Very pretty. I was particularly fascinated by the term "regency plume".

Now if you look closely, you will see that her hands are bare. But she is wearing gloves. Is this an example of those gloves that are slit at the wrist so the hand can emerge for eating and in this case playing a musical instrument? I believe so, looking at the rumpled material at the wrist. What do you think?

This young lady certainly knows how to sit on a chair. Would that some of today's young women would take note!

One of the interesting things about the regency was their passion for white or pastel gowns. I think I have mentioned it before.

Because the ancient statues had lost their colour, they assumed that classical clothing was white, we are told.

I added this picture found on a Greek vase, because it has a lyre and a lady and a costume that is not white at all. She could almost be a regency lady, don't you think?

Then I went off in Wikki looking at lyres, found my way to Wales and found all kinds of interesting things. Then I realized I'd run out of time!

Back on Thursday with Flora and Fauna.

Until then, Happy Rambles.

Regency Life and Living

I thought we might have a bit of fun today, as I used to say to my girls before they got too growed up to have fun. I thought you might be interested in what we regency authors worry about when we are writing our books.

I know that readers also think about this things because I had a wonderful e-mail from a reader in Australia and I know I won’t be in her bad books if I quote just a little bit of her note:

I find many of the stories marred by poor research. Such things such as referring to foil wrapped confection. I must say I have to agree.

My Regency chapter, The Beaumonde, recently had a long discussion about the wearing of gloves at dinner. It was hard to find evidence, and sometimes you try to find portraits from the day as a clue, but generally agreed that ladies would remove their gloves while eating and while playing the piano and doing needlework, etc, but for everything else, including dancing, they would wear their gloves.

My intro picture shows two ladies shopping in Ackerman's Art Gallery in 1812, in their gloves. How hampering that would have been. This next one shows them dancing. One way of avoiding those male sweaty palms, I should think. But then when you finally did get to touch a male hand, skin on skin, it must have been quite an erotic experience. Remember that touch in the most recent version of Pride and Predjudice? Shivers down the spine, ladies.

The next pictures are of things where a lady would need some finger dexterity and therefore, as you can see gloves were not worn. I do wonder what they did with the darn things. They must have been forever getting lost, particularly those that were white or York tan, because they must all have looked the same.

Another interesting question arose about whether a man would wear his Hessian boots to a ball. We thought not, and indeed it was certainly expressly forbidden by Nash at the pump rooms in Bath, which probably meant that they would have if it had been allowed. Although a soldier in full dress uniform might, as seen here at the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball before Waterloo. Note however, that some of the soldiers in uniform are wearing dress shoes.

Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing into a writer's exciting life, lol.

Until next time, Happy rambles.