Regency Era Fashion Chit Chat - August 1817 Ackerman's Repository
General Observations on Fashion and Dress
Satin and fancy silk spencers still continue to be much worn for the promenade, but muslin pelisses are considered more fashionable. When worn for dishabille, they are composed of cambric muslin, and trimmed with work. The one which we are about to describe is the most elegant that we have seen.
The body and skirt of the pelisse are in one: the latter, made without gores, is of a moderate fulness; the former is full in the back, with six small plaits on each side. The fronts are alternately gaged and small-plaited; the gagings are about an inch in breadth, and the plaitings three in number. Long sleeve of an easy fulness, except at the wrist, which is nearly tigt to the arm, being plaited and gaged to correspond with the body. A small collar, rounded in the style of a pelerine, falls back so as partially to display the throat. The trimming consists of that rich embroidery which we mentioned as being fashionable a considerable time back; it became unfashionable soon afterwards, but is now again in considerable estimation: there are three falls. As the appearance of this trimming resembles, at a distance, point lace, the effect is very rich, though somewhat heavy.
As the French style of head-dress continues to be adopted by a considerable number of distinguished elegantes, we have presented our subscribers with a selection of the most fashionable bonnets. Those of cambric muslin, which the French call capotes, are adopted as morning bonnets by many ladies remarkable for their elegant taste in dress. They are certainly very gentlewomanly, and extremely appropriate to the season.
For carriage or elegant promenade dress, nothing is considered so tasteful as clear muslin pelisses, lined with slight sarsnet, and trimmed with lace. A trimming of muslin bouillons, interspersed with small rosettes of satin ribbon, the same colour as the linings, and finished by a deep flounce of lace, is very novel, and is also considered highly fashionable. We noticed a pelerine cape the other day on one of these pelisses, of a novel shape and very pretty; it was crossed behind something like a handkerchief, and had two long ends in front, which were sloped so as to fall back very much. This pelerine, which was formed entirely of letting-in lace, and edged with rich pointed lace, had an uncommonly elegant effect. The delicate pink of the wild rose is a very favourite colour for linings; green, peach-blossom, and evening primrose, are also in considerable estimation.
Half-dress lace caps are much in favour in the carriage costume. They are generally mobs, with the crowns a la Francoise; but they are neither outre nor unbecoming. Flowers form the prevalent ornament: satin and ribbon, the former in rosettes, the latter in large bows, are, however, partially adopted by some very tasteful belles.
Since writing the above, we have seen several elegant gauze caps, which, as well as gauze fichus trimmed with tulle, have been lately introduced by a lady, not less remarkable for her rank than for the benevolence which adds lustre to it. The cornettes are trimmed either with tulle or British blond; and if they become as general as they are expected to be, it will be of infinite service to that branch of our manufactures.
Muslin is the only thing which has been worn for some time past in the morning costume. Tucks are, at last, beginning to decline in favour, though they are stll worn by some elegantes. The most fashionable dishabille is the Gloucester morning dress, composed of fine jaconot muslin; the bottom of the skirt is finished by a piece of clear muslin let in full, and formed into waves by ribbon drawn through it: this trimming is surmounted by a rich flounce of work, and another finishes it at the bottom. The body is loose, and drawn in to the shape by two rows of ribbon, which come no farther than the bottom of the back, which is ornamented by rosettes of the same coloured ribbon. A very narrow wave of muslin, to correspond with the skirt, goes round the bust, and is finished by a fall of work. Long sleeve, ornamented at the wrist, to correspond. This morning dress, which is in considerable request in the highest circles, is the most tasteful and becoming dishabille that we have seen for a considerable time.
Striped sarsnets, and those of light colours, are rather more in favour than they were last month for dinner dress, but muslin is more generally worn. Embroidery in coloured worsteds begins to be in some request in trimming. The most elegant, in our opinion, are wreaths of leaves in various shades of green: they are not, however, so general as borders of flowers. Dog-roses, violets, honeysuckles, and pea-blossom, are all in request.
The Percy robe is still in great request for full dress, for which gauze and tulle continue to be most fashionable; but white sarsnet round dresses, richly embroidered in coloured silks round the bottom, are also much worn. The bodies of these dresses are trimmed with tulle, which is formed into the shape of shells by pink silk chord. Te sleeve is very short and full; it is also composed of tulle over white sarsnet: the tulle is laid on very full; it is interspersed with pink chord, and confined at bottom by a narrow border to correspond with the bottom of the dress.
The hair in half dress continues to be worn very low at the sides, much parted on the forehead, and disposed in light ringlets.
In full dress the hind hair is variously disposed. Some ladies have it brought to the left side, where it forms five or six tufts; others have one half of it twisted up behind in a large knot, while the remainder, disposed in three or four plaits, is brought round the head; and many arrange it in full bows, which are apparently confined by several bands of hair. The front hair is almost universally brought plain across the forehead, and disposed in loose curls at the sides of the face. This fashion, so becoming to the Grecian contour of countenance, is the very reverse to the round-faced belle, whom it absolutely disfigures: it is, nevertheless, almost universally adopted.
Head-dresses for full dress continue the same as last month.
Fashionable colours for the month are, peach-blossom, wild-rose colour, grass-green, straw-colour, blue, and lilac.