Walking Dresses

Walking Dresses, Overview

Walking Dresses were worn on outdoor occasions when one wanted to see and be seen. They are often referred to as Promenade Dresses, a very literal definition of their purpose. The fashionable Regency woman was seen walking in the parks or in the shopping districts during the London Season...

Morning Walking Dresses, May 1799

"The front hair cropped; the hind hair in small ringlets. Straw hat with a garland embroidery; the crown terminating on the left side, and finished with a tassel. White satin riband under the chin, tied on the left side into a bow...

Walking Dresses, June 1799

"Le Brun's Hat; made of cane, and lined with blue; turned up before and behind; wild rose, or other flower, in front. Blue muslin round dress...

Walking Dress, December 1799

""Parisian Cloak, made of one entire straight, unshaped piece of pink silk, covered all over with black crape. Trimmed round with broad black lace, and pinned up in the right shoulder...

Walking and Riding Dresses, August 1800

"Round hat of green and white chip. Wreath of red roses. White veil. Round dress of white muslin. Scarf of green muslin; one end thrown carelessly over the right shoulder, the other over the left arm....

Walking Dresses, October 1801

"A round dress of thick white muslin; a pelice of cambrick muslin trimmed all round; long sleeves. A bonnet of buff silk, trimmed with purple ribbon...

Walking Dress, December 1801

This early French print includes some lovely fashion details. The wool spencer is cut high in the back, showing the gathering at the back of the dress. For the next few years, the back of dresses tended to be quite full. And walking dresses at this time typically had short trains, as here....

Promenade Dresses, April 1802

"A round dress of thick white muslin. Short silk pelisse, trimmed all round with deep black lace. Black velvet bonnet, worn with a deep veil. Bear muff...

Promenade Dresses, November 1802

"-A round dress of thick white muslin, the body full, and drawn close round the bosom; full long sleeves. A fur tippet of brown bear. A small black velvet bonnet...

German Evening and Walking Dress, January 1803

The walking dress in this print includes a fabulous fur muff, my favorite Regency accessory, as well as a brightly striped lining to the dark pelisse. The same striped fabric is featured on the bonnet. The evening costume includes an overdress or robe that appears to be trimmed in white fur or swansdown....

French Walking Dress, April 1803

We can tell this print shows us daywear for outdoors because of the bonnet, which is an outdoor straw bonnet, not one that would have been worn with evening wear, and by the gloves, which appear to be kid leather in what the British would call York tan. Most evening wear is shown with white gloves....

Morning Walking Dress, May 1803

"... The Jewish coats (or Josephs), of silk, are again in use; they are edged with black lace...

Promenade Dresses, September 1804

"Round dress of white muslin, made high round the bosom, with a lace frill; long sleeves. A pink and white shawl of clear muslin. A gipsy hat, or straw or chip, tied under the chin with pink ribands; a rose in front....

Promenade Dresses, May 1805

"A round dress of plain white muslin, with a spencer cloak of green silk, trimmed all round with deep black lace. A straw hat turned up in the front, ornamented with feathers....

Promenade and Ball Dress, June 1805

"A dress of white muslin, made plain over the bosom, with short sleeves; a cloak of apple-blossom silk, trimmed with deep white lace. A white satin hat trimmed with crape...

Promenade Dresses, August 1805

"A round dress of plain or worked muslin; a pelisse of worked pique leno, lined with primrose persian, and trimmed all round with white lace. A mob cap trimmed and lined with primrose...

Mourning Promenade Dresses September 1805

"A short dress of black sarsnet trimmed with crape. A shawl cloak of black crape. Black chip bonnet. A long dress of black Italian gauze over black sarsnet. A scarf of black crape. Black chip...

Half-Mourning Evening and Walking Dresses, October 1805

"A dress of black crape over white sarsnet, the dress made very long, and trimmed and ornamented with black velvet and bugles; a tucker of the same, drawn over the bosom...

Half Dress and Walking Dress, June 1806

"Round gown of fine cambric muslin, with long sleeves, and trimmed round the bottom with double muslin. A cloak of fine clear muslin, bound round with white satin ribband....

French Promenade Dress, June 1806

The dress shown here is very simple -- white, probably muslin, gathered at the neckline and sleeves, and tied at the high waist with a white sash. The shawl (which looks dark yellow in some versions of this print and taupe in others) is either embroidered on the edges, or woven in a floral pattern at the ends....

French Walking Dress, September 1806

A couple of fashion observations: Note that she wears over-the-elbow gloves. This seems to be a French mode. In British prints, long gloves are primarily shown with evening wear. British prints seldom show a short-sleeved dress for day wear, regardless of the season....

Morning Walking Dress, April 1807

When applied to women's fashion, the French term redingote is typically translated as robe. So this white dress is a morning robe ("Redingote du Matin"). The addition of the bonnet makes it an outdoor morning ensemble, or a morning walking...

Morning and Evening Dress, May 1807

"Full Evening Dress for Gentlemen consists of a blue coat, lappeled, flat gilt buttons, and black velvet collar; or a dark silver or brown coat, lappeled, covered buttons, and collar of the same cloth...

Walking and Full Dresses, June 1807

"A plain round gown of French cambric, or jaconet muslin; long sleeve, wrapt front, and spenser back. Open shirt, frilled round the neck with scolloped lace...

Walking Dresses, July 1807

"A plain cambric round dress, a walking length. Roman spencer, with Vandyke lapels and falling collar; finished with the same round the bottom of the waist, and flowing open in front of the bosom. A village hat of Imperial chip...

Walking Dress and Full Dress, August 1807

"White dress of cambric, with a transparent sleeve buttoned up the arm; buff gloves; bonnet of pink silk; an outside dress ornamented with tassels at each corner...

Walking Dress, September 1807

"A round gown with a short train,ornamented at he feet in flutings of muslin or needlework; a long sleeve rucked, with a full top...

Evening and Walking Dresses, September 1807

"A round train dress of India muslin embroidered in a fancy border of needle-work at the feet. The stock bosom, ornamented with white beads...

Promenade Dress, March 1808

"A round walking dress of white cambric, or brown velvet; made to sit close to the form; laced behind, and reaching to the edge of the throat, where it is finished with a broad plaiting of French net...

Walking Dresses, June 1808

"A plain cambric, or jaconet muslin dress, made a walking length; scalloped at the feet and wrist, with high gored bosom, and long sleeves of net. A spencer of silver lilac sarsnet, with bosom and cuffs ornamented à-la-Militaire. Simple turban bonnet, composed of the same material as the spencer....

Kensington Garden Dresses, June 1808

"A rich India muslin dress, with a superb embossed border, worked in floss silk, white or coloured, made short,walking length; high in the neck, and drawn full round the throat with a tuban collar falling over...

Morning Walking Dresses, August 1808

" A round robe of white or jonquil muslin, made a walking length; with spencer waist, and deep falling lappels, trimmed with lace' and edged at the wrist to correspond. A bonnet of celestial blue crape, with jockey, or antique front, edged and ornamented with the shell, or honey-comb trimming, formed of the same material....

Promenade and Full Dresses, September 1808

"An Indian muslin dress, with flat satin springs, made high in the back, and brought in a horizontal line round the bosom; it has a hanging collar sewed on to the back and fastened in the front with an antique broach...

Walking Dresses, December 1808

“An antique frock formed of white or coloured crape muslin; embroidered (for full dress) round the bottom, bosom and sleeves, in a border of silver ivy leaf and berry; and worn over a white satin slip. For less splendid occasions, it is ornamented with lace,...

Walking Dress January 1809

"A Polish bonnet and mantle of gold-coloured velvet, with an invisible hood trimmed with ermine; an antique collar fastened with a gold ornament in front, in the form of a shell. Morning dress of white muslin Brussels spot, with a worked stomacher, and trimmed down the front and at the bottom;...

Walking or Carriage Dress, March 1809

"CARRIAGE COSTUME: A Polanese coat, and Saragossa mantle, of fine Vigonia cloth; the colour spring green, trimmed round the edges and up the front of the coat with black velvet bindings, and edgings of gold lace...

Walking Dress, April 1809

"A tunic of lilac silk, clasped down the front with gold ornaments; a cloak of the same colour attached, so as to unite behind, but to fall loose over the shoulders; fixed on the shoulders with golden ornaments...

Walking Dress, June 1809

"A round high gown of fine French cambric, made a walking length, and finished at the feet with lace and needlework; Union front, and plaited collar, ornamented with the same. Elastic girdle with buckle or clasp of gold or cut steel...

Walking Dresses, June 1809

"A Venetian spencer of violet satin, or sarsnet, with a row of small round buttons embroidered in silver, with a pendent loop to each; confined at the neck with a silk cord or silver tassel. Beaver hat of the same colour, rather small, turned up in the front, with a silver button and loop....

Kensington Garden Dress, July 1809

"A spenser bodice of pale pink sarsnet. White muslin dress, with double row of scollop lace forming a light flounce round the bottom, over which is worn a black lace mantle and train...

Promenade Sea Beach Costume, September 1809

"A Grecian frock of fine French cambric or jaconet muslin, with corresponding border at the feet, in shaded purple embroidery; Roman back and front of the same....

Walking Dress, September 1809

"A Flushing hat of white Italian chip, a cap of the same material appearing underneath, ornamented with a wreath of oak-leaves and acorn, bound round the edge with blossom-pink ribband...

Sea Coast Promenade Dress, October 1809

"A bonnet composed of yellow satin and lace, richly embossed with leopard spots in deep orange; the front in the tiara form, bound with green figured ribband...

Carriage or Promenade Dress, January 1810

"A round cottage gown of fine cambric or jaconet muslin, ornamented at the feet, collar, and wrists with borders of needle-work, or fine fringe. The waist confined at the bottom with a white ribbon, tied in short bows and ends behind....

Walking Dress, May 1810

"An Arabian tunic and petticoat of fine white cambric, sitting high round the throat, with appliqued net, in the crescent form; robin stomacher, and Egyptian border round the bottom...

Promenade Dress, August 1810

" A plain cambric round morning dress, made high in the neck, with a short train, let in round the bottom with two rows of worked trimming. A pelisse of green sarsnet, made to fit the shape, trimmed round with a narrow fancy trimming, cut with two scallops on the left side, on the right with one;...

Sea-Side Walking Dress, September 1810

"A gown of white French cambric, or pale pink muslin, with long sleeves, and antique cuffs of thin white muslin, trimmed with Mechlin edging; made high in the neck, without a collar, and formed in points at the center of the bosom, with three rows of letting-in lace;...

Promenade or Sea-Beach Costume, October 1810

"A Grecian wrap gown, with high Armenian collar, bordered with treble rows of narrow muslin, or with three rows of appliquéd beading. An Egyptian tunic of pink or lilac shot sarsnet, ornamented up the front with silk cord buttons;...

Walking Dress, October 1810

"A pelisse of autumnal brown sarsnet, made low in the neck, trimmed down the front and round the bottom with a rich trimming of vandyked white satin, ornamented with silver frogs...

Walking & Morning Dresses, November 1810

Robe of white Indian muslin, with Spanish vest and Flemish skirt, ornamented at the bottom, bosom, and sleeves with needle-work, or appliquéd lace; antique cuffs, pointed collar, fastened in the center of the throat with a topaz broach. Bonnet à la Mary, Queen of Scots,...

Walking or Carriage Dress, December 1810

"A black bombazine or sarsnet round robe, with high bosom, and long sleeves with white Spanish weepers, trimmed round the bottom, at the front, and round the bosom, with a thin chain of crape. A white crape habit-shirt, with high collar,...

Walking Dress, January 1811

"A round high morning robe of cambric, with deep full-trimmed collar. A Swedish coat of lead-coloured cloth, or black velvet, trimmed entirely round with swansdown or blue fox fur...

Walking Dress, February 1811

"A pelisse of scarlet Merino cloth, buttons down the front and up the arm with small gold buttons; the collar and cuffs of purple velvet...

Promenade Dress, July 1811

"A round robe of white jaconet muslin, with a boddice of violet sarsnet, trimmed with rich silk Brandenburgs of Austrian green, a half pelisse of fine transparent muslin...

Promenade Dress, August 1811

"A round robe of India jaconet, trimmed round the bottom with ribband; a mantle of fine India mull muslin, or white crape, with ficher front, ornamented withe drawn ribband and tassels...

French Walking Dress, November 1811

The white dress is trimmed with multiple rows of vandyking, creating a deeper flounce than is typical at this time. The short length is intriguing...

Walking Dress, December 1811

"A high dress of tartan plaid, made of sarsnet or Merino crape, trimmed down the bottom with white swansdown, and two rows of the same down the front, alternately relieved by a narrow silk cord in loops, and buttons of a bright nakara colour, with a belt to correspond....

Carriage or Walking Dress, January 1812

"A Plain cambric morning robe, with high collar, trimmed with lace. A Polish demi-pelisse of fine Lama or Merino cloth, richly embroidered up the front, on the bottom collar and cuffs...

Morning Walking Dress, April 1812

"A three quarters pelisse of dark willow-green sarsnet, or fine Merino cloth, worn over a round dress of fine India muslin, richly embroidered, and trimmed round the bottom with lace, put on rather full...

Promenade or Carriage Costume, May 1812

" A round spencer robe of blossom-coloured sarsnet, trimmed with tufted Chinese silk fringe; a drapery of deep vandyke black lace, continued round the back and shoulders to the bottom...

French Walking Dress, July 1812

The dress is a simple, with only a small row of ruched ruffles at the hem and a ruff around the neck. The straw bonnet marks it as a day...

Promenade Dress, August 1812

"A plain jaconet or imperial cambric muslin round dress, formed high in the neck, and trimmed round the bottom, up the front, collar, and sleeves with full borders of plaited muslin....

Walking Dress, September 1812

"A pelisse of Princess Elizabeth lilac figured sarsnet, shot with white, and sufficiently short to show the flounce of the morning dress beneath it...

Morning Walking Dress, October 1812

"Jaconet muslin dress, made rather below the knee and open in front; trimmed round with a rich worked muslin border scolloped, and laid on rather full: waist moderately long...

Morning Walking Dress, January 1813

"A round robe of Cambric muslin, with long full sleeves, and simple short collar, confined in the center of the throat with a stud or broach; the same fastening the dress at the wrist...

Promenade Dress, February 1813

"A plain cambric robe, made high in the neck, with plaited fan frill and long sleeves, finished at the bottom with a border of fancy tucks or needlework. A Prussian hussar cloak, of Sardinian blue velvet or superfine cloth; lined and edged with pink satin...

Walking Dress, March 1813

"A stone coloured habit, trimmed round the body with swansdown, and ornamented entirely across the bosom with a thick row of rich silk braiding to correspond....

Promenade Dress, June 1813

"Short dress of jaconet muslin, made rather scantier in the skirt than they have been worn, and cut down as much a possible all round the bosom and back of the neck...

Walking Dress, August 1813

"High dress of jaconet muslin, walking length, and trimmed round the bottom either with lace or work. Pocket-holes made habit fashion...

Promenade Dress, January 1814

"A plain cambric robe, with long gathered sleeve and high arched collar, trimmed with net lace or muslin. A Spanish lappelled coat of fine orange Merino cloth; full epaulette ornaments on the shoulders...

Walking Dress, May 1814

“This elegant spencer is worm over a walking-dress of jaconet muslin; it is made in rich primrose twilled sarsnet, shot with white; the back, which is full, shews the shape to much greater advantage than any spencer we have lately seen...

Carriage or Walking Dress, June 1814

"High Dress of jaconet muslin, with a triple lace ruff, and a profusion of lace let in round the neck. The bottom of this dress is trimmed in a most elegant style...

Promenade Dress, October 1814

"A celestial blue, or French grey silk skirt, buttoned, and trimmed down the front with a full border of lace, gathered on a plain heading, terminating at the bottom with a deep flounce of the same; high-drawn body, made either of sarsnet or India muslin;...

Morning Walking Dress, October 1814

"Jaconet muslin high dress, with a triple flounce of muslin embroidery round the edge, and slightly scalloped; a row of worked points surmounts the top flounce. The body is composed of jaconet muslin and letting-in lace; the former cut in broad strips and sewed full to the latter, which is about an inch in breadth...

Carriage or Walking Dress, November 1814

"This walking or carriage dress is perfectly new, highly appropriate to the season, and will most probably be the prevailing morning dress for November. There is great ingenuity in the mantle...

Walking Dress, December 1814

"A pelisse, of short walking length, made either in erminette or silk velvet of puce color, open down the front, and bound entirely round with celestial blue satin, terminating at the feet with a broad border of white lace; high plain collar, and treble copes bound to correspond; full lace ruff....

Walking Dress, January 1815

"The mantle which is worn with this dress is composed of the finest Morone, or plumb-coloured cloth lined with white sarsnet; the form of this mantle is the most striking, tasteful, elegant, and original that we have ever seen...

Promenade Dress, April 1815

"French cambric high-dress with a chemise back, something broader than those of last month, and a waist as short as it can be made. The sleeve, which is of course long, is singularly novel and tasteful as our readers will see by the Print; three rows of rich worked muslin,...

Walking Dress, June 1815

"Promenade Dress: Round dress of Pomona-green poplin, trimmed, as our readers will perceive by the Print, in a style of uncommon novelty and taste. The body is made in a peculiarly becoming manner, the back plain at top, is drawn in with a slight fullness at the bottom of the waist,...

Walking Dress, November 1815

"The pelisse dress is made of the finest French blue cloth, in a style of exquisite and tasteful novelty ... A trimming of the most novel description, composed of small silver buttons inserted in silk tufts, finishes it in a most original and tasteful style...

Promenade Dress, December 1815

"High dress composed of French cambric, made up to the throat, but without a collar; the body is quite plain at the top, but there is a slight fullness at the bottom of the waist behind...

Walking Dress, February 1816

"A morning dress composed of the finest dark mulberry ladies' cloth, finished at the bottom of the skirt with a new-invented trimming, which has an uncommonly light and pretty effect...

Promenade Dress, December 1816

"A high dress of cambric muslin trimmed at the bottom with a single flounce of work. The body, which is composed entirely of work, fits the shape without any fulness...

Walking Dress and Pelisse, April 1817

"Round dress of fine cambric, under a pelisse of emerald-green reps sarsnet, ornamented and faced with flutings of green and white satin, elegantly finished by British silk trimming...

Walking Dress, April 1817

"Muslin high dress, made walking length; the skirt trimmed with a deep double flounce of muslin, pointed round the edge, and worked in a light running pattern: the heading corresponds...

Walking Dress, August 1817

"A jaconet muslin round dress; the bottom of the skirt trimmed with five rows if embroidery, in a running patterns of leaves. The body is full; it is cut low round the bust, and the fulness is gathered in there and at the bottom of the waist by a narrow band of muslin ..."...

Walking Dress, September 1817

"Jaconet muslin round dress over a French grey sarsnet slip. The dress is richly worked round the bottom and up the front. High body, composed of alternate strips of byas-tucked muslin and letting-in lace...

Walking Dress, December 1817

"A high dress composed of bombazine; the bottom of the skirt is ornamented with black crape, disposed in a very novel style. The body, which is made tight to the shape, wraps across to the right side; it is adorned in a very novel style of piping of black crape disposed like braiding, and finished by rosettes of crape...

Walking Dress, March 1818

"A fawn-coloured poplin gown made half-length: the back is plain, and the front wraps a little to the left side; the body is trimmed with two rows of white satin ribbon painted in natural flowers....

Morning Walking Dress, August 1818

"A high dress composed of jaconet muslin: the body ha a little fullness in the back; the fronts are plain, and wrap across in the style of a fichu. A row of richly worked trimming, headed with a doudle rouleau of muslin...

Walking Dress, September 1818

"Round dress of printed muslin, of a cerulean blue spotted with black, with bordered flounces of the same material to correspond; between each flounce a layer placed of black brocaded satin ribband...

Mourning Walking Dress, December 1818

"A round dress of black bombasine; the body is made tight to the shape and up to the throat, but without a collar; long sleeves, with white crape weepers: the skirt is finished at the bottom with a broad black crape flounce, disposed in large...

Half Mourning Walking Dress, January 1819

"A round dress of figured silk, the ground grey, with a small black leaf: the body is made partially high round the shoulders and back, but sloped low in front of the bust; it is trimmed with a puffing of grey crape...

Walking & Evening Dresses, May 1819

"Walking Dress: A round dress, composed of jaconet muslin; the skirt is moderately full; it is trimmed round the bottom with the same material, which is disposed in such a manner as to form, with an intermixture of cord, a very novel and fanciful trimming, for the form of which we refer to our print....

French Walking Dress, March 1821

Although this appears at first glance to be a pelisse, it is not. The print title calls it a "robe," so it is in fact a winter dress, not an...

 

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