Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fashion Forecast: 1809

Note: This is the beginning of an occasional series focusing on clothes from a particular year, to give you a flavor of just what you might have seen on the streets of London or at various events. I'll warn you now that it will be heavily weighted toward the first four decades of the 19th century, because that's where my collecting interest lies (and Regina's too, I think)...enjoy!

So what was the well-dressed young woman wearing in 1809?

If she were out for a stroll in spring or summer, she might wear this (Promenade Dress, July 1809, Ackermann's Repository):

Or this: (Walking Dress, April 1809, Ackermann's Repository):

Or this (Walking Dress, October 1809, Ackermann's Repository). Note the quizzing glass she's holding, to check out what the other strollers in the park are wearing:

Did you think mother-daughter outfits were a modern invention? Not at all! (Walking Costume, August 1809, Ackermann's Repository):

How about evening wear? If you attended the grand reopening of Covent Garden theatre in 1809 after its rebuilding following a disastrous fire in 1808, you might wear something like this (Opera Dress, March 1809, Ackermann's Repository):

Or maybe you've received a coveted invitation to dine and hear a concert at Carleton House, London home of the Price Regent. If so, this might fit the bill (Full Dress, April 1809, Ackermann's Repository):
And of course, the all important ball...(Ball Dress, October 1809, Ackermann's Repository). This is "A light blue, or grey chemise robe, of gossamer net, imperial crape, or Spanish gauze, worn over white pealing satin, ornamented up the front with French bows and knots of silver. A full melon sleeve, formed of the same material as the dress, and alternate stripes of white satin; finished with bows and knots of silver.":


Lynnae said...

Lovely pictures! Maybe I will get ideas for my next Austen costume!

Marissa Doyle said...

Ooh! If you do, you'll have to send us a picture when you're done!

ChaChaneen said...

Ooooh these dresses are eye candy! Great post.

Marissa Doyle said...

Yes, the dresses from this year (the first year Ackermann's Repository was published) through about 1816 are very interesting--a lot more variety in style than one expects.

Rachel said...

I think my fave is the dress for Carleton House.

Thanks for sharing the fashion plates ;)

Joanna said...

Wow! I've never seen these before. I never knew that they wore buttons and ribbons on the front of their dress in the Regency time period.

I love the outfits from this period in history. I cant wait for more. :)

Marissa Doyle said...

Those weren't buttons up the front, Joanna, just bows and knots of ribbon. The dress would have fastened in back with pins, most likely, and maybe a drawstring to adjust the bust.

Glad you like them!

QNPoohBear said...

Each one is so different! My favorite is the October walking dress. I wonder how ladies who were of a certain size dealt with such skimpy styles?

Joanna said...

ooh right. When was the button invented? I keep forgetting that they didnt have them yet.
Buttons are hard enough to button up sometimes. I cant imagine tying ribbons and hooks up a dress.

Joanna said...

okay maybe they had them. lol. But didnt use them to the extent we do?

Marissa Doyle said...

Buttons were mostly for decorative use, but around this time were coming more into practical use as fasteners.

I find myself made nervous by the thought of dresses being held on only by pins, but I guess it's all what one is used to.

Although corsets in this time were generally lighter weight, I'm sure "full-figured" women had theirs made with a little more support...and wore pelisses and voluminous shawls when possible. :)

Sarah said...

Some of those walking dresses are super cute :D And the mother-daughter outfit? I never even guessed that people did that in 1809.

Thanks for all the fun pictures!

QNPoohBear said...

Is the movie Bright Star playing anywhere else yet? It's about Keats and his love interest who also had a love affair with fashion. I'm hoping I can see it this weekend. I'm dying to see those costumes from 1818.

Marissa Doyle said...

The Boston Globe loved it... (http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2009/09/25/bright_star_shines_with_romance_eroticism/)

I'm not a movie-goer, but I may need to see this one! And of course, "Young Victoria" later this fall.

Dara said...

Ah so much simpler than what was to come in later decades (I'm thinking of the huge skirts of the 1850s and 60s).

I wouldn't mind wearing some of that now :)