Regency Era Fashion Chit Chat - November 1817 Ladies' Monthly Museum
Though velvet spensers are considered most fashionable, both for carriage and promenade dress, yet sarsnet pelisses are stll reckoned tonish in the former. It may be proper, however, to mention, that they are composed of a new and very durable silk; it has a narrow cord like that of dimity, and is superior in thickness to the French Swantine.
We have just seen a Clarence-blue pelisse composed of this silk; it is lined with white sarsnet, and made to wrap a little to the left side. The body is made tight to the shape, except at the bottom of the back, where there is a little fullness, which is confined to the waist by a rich silk cord and tassels. A plain square collar, lined with white satin, falls over. The trimming, which goes all round the pelisse, is a very full wreath of velvet leaves, which are edged with a beautiful narrow white silk trimming. Plain long sleeves, ornamented at the wrist to correspond.
We have noticed also a new, and very appropriate appendage to full dress, which is called the Corsage a la Prusse; it is a body composed either of British net, blond, or transparent gauze, intermixed with rouleaus of white or coloured satin. The rouleaus, which are placed lengthwise, form the shape of the body; there is rather more than a nail left between them in breadth at the top of the front, and the material placed between them, which is always let in full, and is sometimes formed by silk cord into little Spanish puffs. The sleeve, which is formed of the same materials, is an epaulette in the shape of a shell. Both the bosom and sleeves are edged with a row of twisted satin riband, disposed in points which stand up. These bodies may be worn over any evening dress; but they are considered most elegant over white satin, or rich white sarsnet.
Leghorn bonnets are considered most genteel for walking. They are generally trimmed only with riband. Some few ladies wear winter flowers, but they are not considered fashionable. Velvet toques are the most fashionable carriage head-dresses. Some of them made in the French style are extremely pretty. The most elegant are composed of black velvet and bright violet satin; the crown is higher, and something broader at the top than any we have lately seen. A broad piece of byas violet satin is let in round the top of the crown; it is formed into puffs by narrow velvet strips which fasten with small fancy silk buttons. The lower part of the crown is ornamented with a band of about a nail in breadth; it is composed of byas folds of velvet and violet satin intermixed; a low plume of ostrich feathers placed exactly in front generally ornaments this head-dress.
White satin and transparent gauze toques are very fashionable for evening parties, and silver gauze is in great favour for full dress. Te crowns of these head-dresses are either round or oval; they are rather high, and are now generally finished by three or four soft rolls of the same material round the lower part of the crown. The upper part is always full; if it is an oval shape, the fullness is confined either by rouleaus of satin, strings of pearls, beads, or silver cord, whichever is most appropriate. If the crown is round, the fullness is confined only at the bottom by the rolls, of which we have just spoken; and we must observe that round crowns appear most in favour.
Cornettes for dishabille are generally composed of clear muslin, the lower part is always of the mob kind. Tey are in general of a very moderate height; the upper part of the crown is full, and the fullness is confined either by bands of letting-in lace, or rouleaus of satin. They are trimmed with narrow lace, and ornamented with riband only.
Spensers are most in favour at present for the promenade; they are always composed of velvet; the most fashionable are made quite tight to the shape; the back very broad, and the front adorned with numerous rows of buttons intermixed with silk twist. Plain long sleeves without epaulettes or ornaments at the wrist are considered very fashionable; but some elegantes have their sleeves ornamented about a nail from the bottom, by a double row of buttons and twist, which goes about half round the wrist, and corresponds with the front. Waists are worn remarkably short; and the most fashionable spensers are finished round the waist by a row of velvet cut to resemble shells; this ornament is from an inch to an inch and a half in breadth.
Robes are now principally made of Merino; but plaid silk is also worn. The trimming of these robes consists either of rouleaus of satin, or bands of fancy pluche; the latter is most prevalent.
The crowns of fashionable chapeaux are much lower than usual, and the brims extremely wide, but not deep. Satin pluche, and velvet are the materials most in request for hats. Plain pluche hats are always of two colours; white and rose, and grey and citron, form at present the favourite mixtures. Fancy pluche is much used to trim satin, and black velvet hats; the former, however, continue to be ornamented with straw round the edge of the front; the straw is generally disposed in a light wreath of leaves or flowers.
Plumes of marabouts, bunches of velvet auriculas, and rainbow scarfs, are considered equally elegant for the decoration of hats. We perceive, however, that the latter are mostly confined to black velvet chapeaux.