Regency Era Fashion Chit Chat - December 1819 Ladies' Monthly Museum
The winter fashions, though it is still early in the season, have already assumed, in a great degree, a decided character. The spencer, or shawl, is now entirely banished from the promenade, and their place supplied by the cloth pelisse, rendered still more comfortable by the addition of a muff and tippet. Walking-dress affords little variety, because we see nothing but pelisses, which differ very slightly from each other, except in the trimming; a number are trimmed with fur; the collar and cuffs are adorned to correspond; they have also, in general, a pelerine bordered with fur; and, when that is the case, they are usually worn without tippets. Pelisses of this latter description are calculated merely for walking; but those similar to the one given in our print, may be worn either for carriage or walking dress. The walking bonnets which begin to be the most in favour, are velvet and black Leghorn; the former adorned always with feathers; but we observe the majority of the latter are decorated with winter flowers. Bonnets are universally of a large shape; the crowns, it is true, are of a moderate size; but the manner in which the feathers or flowers are attached to them, makes them appear very high; the brims always excessively wide and deep, except at the ends, where they are rounded. If the bonnet is black, it is finished at the edge of the brim with a ruche of black gauze, or a full fall of black blond; the linings are now either of white or coloured sarsnets; but we observe they never correspond with the bonnet.
Pelisses and high gowns, of kerseymere, or Merino cloth, seem equally fashionable in carriage-dress. We have already seen some of the former lined throughout with fur. These costly envelopes are made in the great-coat style, with a loose body, wide sleeves, and a very large pelerine. The high dresses are in general trimmed with satin, or with a mixture of satin and velvet. The one which we are about to describe, was made by a marchande des modes in Bond-street, for a lady of high rank, and is by far the most elegant that we have seen. It is composed of bright olive-green Merino cloth; the skirt is gored; it is of a moderate width at bottom; but very narrow at top; the fulness is thrown a good deal behind, but not so much so as to be unbecoming to the figure. The waist is the longest we have yet seen; the back is moderately broad at the top, but tapers down at the sides, in a manner highly advantageous to the shape; it is ornamented with a slight embroidery in silk, to correspond, at each side; this is in a wave pattern; and between each is a small silk button; this trimming is finished by a rich Brandenbourg, to correspond, at the bottom of the waist. The front of the bust is nearly covered with emrboidery and small silk buttons; the former is lengthwise in waves, and forms the shape of the bosom. The long sleeve is moderately full, and finished by a turned-up cuff of satin, laid on full, in the middle of which is a wreath of velvet-leaves in a running pattern; the stalk is formed of chenille. The satin is something lighter than the cloth, and the velvet a shade lighter than the satin; the chenille is of a very dark green: this mixture has a most beautiful effect. The epaulette and the trimming of the skirt correspond; but the latter is of considerable breadth.
Bonnets, composed of velvet intermixed with satin, form the favourite carriage head-dress; they are always profusely ornamented with feathers, and are worn very large. A few elegantes have adopted the Parisian fashion of small velvet hats, adorned with five or six down, or ostrich feathers in front; but this fashion has not yet become general.
Cambric-muslin is still worn in morning dress; but plain poplins, lustres, and tabbinets, are much more in request. They are generally trimmed with satin, or a mixture of satin and cord. Merino cloth, levantine, and figured poplins, are in request for dinner dress. Gros de Naples, and coloured satins, are worn both for social parties and grand costume; and white satin is exclusively confined to the latter. Fancy velvet trimmings are in very great estimation; we have seen also some composed of rich embroidered riband, formed into shells, or twisted rolls. These rolls are mostly used in full dress, as headings for flounces of blond, or embroidered gauze. Dresses are still trimmed high, particularly those which are flounced. Waists continue to lengthen; they are now more than half a quarter under the arm. Dress sleeves are very short and full; long ones are moderately wide, and fall a good deal over the hand. The prevailing colours are - dark blue, pale slate-colour, olive-green, and the darkest shade of ruby. The furs most fashionable, after ermine and sable, are Chinchella, Fitch, and dark squirrel.
The materials adopted for promenade dress vary a good deal. Cloth redingotes, bordered with velvet, are very general; they are worn over cambric-muslin, or silk dresses; they are made exactly to fit the shape; have very long waists, and long tight sleeves; the collars are made very high, and stand out from the neck behind. The collar, epaulettes, and cuffs, are always of velvet. The trimmings of the skirt is very broad, and when it goes up the fronts, it sometimes almost covers the bust. Some redingotes have a trimming composed of ive or six narrow bands of velvet; these last are generally worn with pelerines to correspond. High cloth dresses, with pelerines of the same material, are also worn for the promenade, and trimmed as we have just described.
Bonnets are of various materials; stamped and plain velvet; fancy velvet, of which there is a great variety; satin; gros de Naples; and a new stuff made of chenille. They are still worn very large.