Thursday, June 15, 2006

More on Regency fashion

Lois commented on the comfort of Regency gowns. I've always thought they looked very comfortable, but having never worn one, I couldn't say for sure. The corsets were certainly a lot less restrictive than they had been in previous centuries, because once the waistline was lost there was no need for women to cinch their waists in. In the above illustration, the woman seems to be wearing a chemise but no corset.

One of the curious things is that the climate of England didn't change, yet within a very short space of time, dresses went from being heavy items, made of thick fabric, to dresses that were so thin they were transparent. The changing fashions were mocked in this caricature of the time:

The writing on the caricature says:
The year 1740 A lady full dress of Bombazeen (bombazeen was a very heavy fabric) -
The year 1807 A lady undress of Bum-be-seen


Anonymous said...

I've just seen someone in something similar to the top illustration walking down High Barnet High Street. The underdress was slightly longer but other than that, they look the same!

Lois said...

So that's what dampening the gowns looks like. . . I guess I could never truly picture it because I don't know much about fabrics, so I never pictured it like that. LOL This one was definitely quite helpful. :)