Friday, 3 December 2010

The Well Dressed Woman in 1805. Stop Press!

What your well-to-do ancestors might have been wearing over 200 years ago!  I came across this fashion article   in the "Kelso Mail" of 9th December 1805 and it makes fascinating reading.   Think of Jane Austen!  

FEMALE FASHIONS FOR DECEMBER

General Observations -The prevailing colours are crimson, puce, purple and yellow.  The most fashionable walking-dresses are black or coloured velvet pelisses, trimmed with very deep lace. Bonnets are the same colour.  For dress, fine worked muslin, trimmed with lace is universally worn. ......Our British shawls far exceed those of the French fabric for elegance and greatly equal the Indian shawls in durability. 

Morning Dress:  A round dress of cambric muslin made high in the neck with a collar;  the back formed into a diamond with small tucks and long sleeves.  A bonnet of crimson velvet trimmed with satin.

Evening Dress - a long train of fine white muslin, with a dress of the same, trimmed all round  with lace.  The hair dressed and ornamented with combs.  White shoes and gloves.

Head Dresses - a cap of crimson velvet with a white veil over one side and a wreath of flowers over the top.  A pelice of crimson or puce coloured velvet trimmed all round with black lace and the lace edged with black velvet.   A velvet bonnet trimmed with a black feather. A hat of white satin turned up in front and ornamented with a bunch of flowers.  A Spanish hat of white satin edged with gold, and ornamented with a white ostrich feather.

This conjures up quite a picture! 

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