It’s Friday so it’s time for some Regency fun, this time of the fashion kind. I love the clothing from the Regency period, although styles did change considerably from the end of the Georgian period to the end of the extended Regency. Here’s a formal portrait of Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, who was a leader of both society and fashion during the 18th century.
As you can tell, there’s a lot of fabric and elaborate draping in this beautiful dress, and the headress is very structured. During the Regency the fashions were greatly influenced by Classical Greece, leading to an era of great simplicity in dress. Waists moved higher in the Empire Style, and thin, flowing fabrics like muslin were used. Here are a few lovely dresses I came across in my internet searches, from the Digital Collections of the University of Washington Libraries. I love this white day dress from 1812:
And here’s a gorgeous, straw-colored evening dress from 1813, although I’m not totally sold on the lace trim for the shoulders:
And I’m always a sucker for a good riding habit:
Things did start to get a little crazy around the end of the Regency period, though, as you can see with these walking dresses from 1828:
These dresses are so elaborately insane they make Georgiana’s dress look like a simple nightgown! Even worse, take a look at what happened to some of the men’s clothing toward the end of the Regency period:
Can you imagine your average Regency hero decked out in that? No, thank you. I’ll stick with the breeches and cool leather boots instead!