So, like many ladies in nineteenth century England, I turned to that trusted source, La Belle Assemblée, for advice. I mean, it’s going to be warm and probably humid in Orlando, but the hotel will probably be freezing in comparison. What’s a lady to do?
“The continued warmth of the weather renders yet the muslin pelisses and spensers to be almost universally adopted: some of the latter are of clear book muslin, trimmed with very full trimmings of muslin, richly embroidered at the edge. Scarf-shawls, mantles, and sarsnet wraps are only seen on evenings, when returning from the rooms or from crowded parties.”
Okay, so I need to find a wrap to wear in air conditioned hotel rooms or returning from my publisher’s party at the Waldorf. What about when I need to go outside into the Florida sun?
“Never were caps so universal; and in this the English ladies do wisely; an ardent sun, particularly when accompanied by breezes from the sea, has often a sudden effect in changing the color of the hair. Among the new cornettes is the fan cornette à-la-Contesse, so called from the front being spread out like a fan; youth and loveliness are certainly requisite to render this head-dress becoming. The breakfast cornette, of fine thread net and Brussels lace, simply finished by rouleaux of lilac satin, is a very becoming dishabille to every face.”
So wear a hat when venturing out of doors. Gotcha. I probably need to choose my neutral color to build the wardrobe around. I only have so much space in my suitcase, and I’d rather fill it with books coming home. What’s in this year?
“The favorite colors are Clarence blue, rose color, and lilac.”
Really? I think I look better in basic black.
Any advice on how a nineteenth century writer can look professional, yet fashionable and comfortable, in Florida in the summer?