Monday, April 7, 2014

Regency dressing questions answered!

I would like to preface this blog post with the statement that I am by far NOT the end all be all authority on the dressing traditions and rotations of a regency lady, but I like to think that as in our world, there was guidelines that were adhered to in varying degrees.

So, at the request of a lady friend, Mrs. Dean, here we go.

A ladies day was full of many things, and based on your social status, your dressing schedule was marked by the times of day.

Morning dress.

Ladies of the ton, or the upper ten thousand were the ladies of leisure and dressed accordingly. Upon waking, you would have your morning wrapper over your night rail with your mob cap covering you hair that was still in rag curls from the evening before. This is what you would take your morning chocolate and toast in your room with your maid.

After you had some time to collect your thoughts and plan your wardrobe for the day, you would dress in your morning gown and go down to breakfast, which was usually at 10, or when ever you, as the lady of the house stipulated the breakfast sideboard to be layed out. There were various ways to
dress, here are some examples.

 The Afternoon gown is so varied.  Depending on whether you are in an afternoon gown waiting for callers with your mob cap and your long skirt, or taking a ride on your stallion in your riding habit, the fit is different.  A riding habit would be masculine, military and include a long train to hide your legs while riding side saddle. A walking gown would be long, just above your feet so that you could stroll and walk at a sedate but comfortable pace, with 3/4 or full length sleeves under a Spencer or Pelisse with your gloves and your hat and appropriate walking shoes. Boots for the country, sturdy but fashionable shoes for the fashionable hour at Hyde Park. Your Carriage dress could be a full pelisse, or a riding habit. The regency lady would better be able to answer the little nuances between a walking gown, an afternoon gown and a visiting ensemble. Here are a couple of my favorite examples

Evening gowns have to be the iconic Regency gown and most popular for the introduction to regency dressing. It is really simple, ankle length skirt for dancing ease, short sleeves, not necessarily puffy and a low cut bodice. The amount of decoration, or "fru-fru" as some call it, is dependent upon taste. I personally like a longer skirt to hold while I'm dancing, and a non-puffy sleeve with elegant decoration. Here are a few of my favorites:

The whole point is to feel pretty, and love what you are wearing. Take these as guidelines, loose guidelines to make your complete wardrobe.

Your servant
Mrs. Nora Azevedo, Modiste
and A Baronets' Daughter

1 comment:

  1. I own that plate third from the bottom. :)

    Also to note, skirt-decoration got more elaborate toward the end of the regency.