Full Dresses, July 1799

Fashions of London and Paris, July 1799.

“London Full Dress”

The figure on the left is described as wearing a blue dress. Since that is the most prominent outer piece of the garment, it was termed the dress. The white garment beneath was an under-dress. The sleeves, trimmed in silver, appear to be a part of the under-dress.

The figure on the right is described as wearing a lilac corset. At this time, the undergarment we know as a corset was referred to as stays. Here, the corset resembles a short jacket with long ties that are knotted in the front.

This magazine, though small and rather inexpensive, tried to emulate one of its expensive competitors, The Gallery of Fashion, by adding bits of metallic paint in its prints. The figure on the left shows silver metallic paint in the trimmings of the dress and under-dress. The figure on the right shows silver metallic paint in the necklace. (Sorry, but these metallic bits are almost impossible to see online. But trust me, they shine in person!)

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“Fig. 1.  LeBrun’s Dress of blue muslin, plain, or richly spangled with silver. Silver trimmings all round with silver tassels. Turban of blue, ornamented with three jewellery flowers, silver band and tassel, and three white ostrich feathers.

“Fig. 2  Cap of white rose leaves, ornamented with a red rose. White muslin round dress, with lilac corset crossed behind and tied before.”

“LeBrun” refers to the modiste Madame LeBrun, who had a salon in Berkley Square.

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