Afternoon and Morning Walking Dresses, April 1812

Lady’s Monthly Museum, April, 1812.

“Afternoon and Morning Dresses for April, 1812.”

After 6-7 years of fashion prints that “borrowed” from other British publications, this magazine began to present original designs in 1812, as they had done in its early years. In this April 1812 issue, the editors acknowledge “with contrition” that their fashion prints had been neglected, and now their fashion prints will be “drawn by a professional person from the dresses themselves.” This print, and all of those for the next few years, represents this new objective. It did not last long, however. By the end of 1816, they were back to “borrowing” images from other publications.

The dress on the left is called an Afternoon Dress in the print title. But the description calls it a Full Dress. Perhaps it actually falls into that in-between category known as Half Full Dress. It is certainly a bit fancier than most Afternoon Dresses. The dress on the right is called in the print title a Morning Dress and in the description it is called a Walking Dress. So, it is a Morning Walking Dress, or an Outdoor Morning Dress, and not the more intimate domestic costume that is an Indoor Morning Dress.

This print is described in the magazine as follows:

“The Full Dress for this month is made of white satin, ornamented round the bottom with a rich Grecian border, over which is worn a tunic of yellow Indian gauze, trimmed with deep white lace, and fastened up the front with cord of blue silk. Head Dress à  la Diana, ornamented with wreaths of artificial flowers in dead gold, with a crescent in front of the forehead, composed of pearls and sapphire; the necklace and ear-rings to correspond; kid gloves and shoes of pale pink.

“The Walking Dress is a white Indian robe of Muslin, made high in the neck; with a richly worked collar to turn over that of the pelisse, which is of blue silk, trimmed with white lace; over which is worn a white, or coloured shawl; the bonnet to be of the same materials as the shawl, and is ornamented with a white feather; laced half boots of regency brown.”

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