Archives

Brussels lace

A point lace with designs worked separately and applied to a net ground.

leghorn

A fine plaited straw, made from an Italian variety of wheat that has been dried and bleached. The name specifically refers to the type of straw, and not the shape of the hat, as is often incorrectly assumed.

leno

A transparent gauze-like fabric of linen thread.

cornette

A day cap with a soft, rounded crown, tied under the chin. Almost always white, it was typically made of muslin, crepe, or other lightweight fabric, trimmed with lace and ribbons. It could be worn alone with indoor morning dress, or underneath a bonnet.

The print shown is a detail from a “Costume Parisien” print showing bonnets, from Journal des Dames et des Modes, April 30, 1812: “Cornette de Perkale.”

sandals

Slippers cut low over the foot and tied on by a criss-cross of ribbons or strings over the instep and around the ankle. They were not the open-toe summer show we know as sandals today. Any shoe that laced up the ankle was called a sandal.

The print shown is a detail from “Ball Dress,” Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, April 1811: “White satin sandal-slippers, tied with green ribbon round the ankle.”

jockey cap

This style of cap or bonnet was very popular through about 1813. It is basically a capote in style, with the crown fitting a bit closer to the head, in the manner of a jockey’s racing hat.

The jockey cap shown here is from a “Costume Parisien” print in the French magazine Journal de Dames et des Mode, November 1800.

muff

A covering for both hands as a protection against cold, also used simply as an elegant accessory. Muffs were generally tubular, and made of fur, feathers, padded silk, and various other materials.They varied in size, sometimes reaching enormous proportions.

The print shows a detail from “Promenade Dress,” Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, January 1814: “White spotted ermine or Chinchilli muff.”

pelisse

An outdoor coat-like garment worn over a dress, with or without sleeves, made of a variety of fabrics and linings, depending on the season and the occasion. Until around 1810, the pelisse was generally ¾-length. After that time, it was almost always ankle-length.

vandyke

Named after the painter Anthony Van Dyke (1599-1641), a style of collar or trimming with a dentate (ie sawtooth) border in lace or fabric.

undress

A term used for simple, casual gowns for wear at home.