Ball Dress, April 1811

La Belle Assemblée, April 1811.

“Ball Dress.”

1811 is a year where we see waistlines moving up and down rather randomly month-to-month. This example is a bit lower than other months.

Note the loose gloves which, if pulled all the way up, would reach just below the short sleeve. Typically, they would have been tied at the top to keep them up. However, it seems to have been acceptable, or fashionable, to let them fall down to the elbow, and sometimes lower, just to allow a bit more skin to be seen.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A white sarsnet or satin petticoat, with short sleeves; over which is worn a body and drapery of light-blue gauze, formed in three points, or vandykes, over the petticoat, reaching nearly to the bottom, the end finished with white silk tassels; it is crossed over the figure in front towards the left side, and fastened in tufts, or bows, of the same colour; a short sash, tied in a bow on the left side; sleeves looped up in front of the arm. The bottom of the petticoat trimmed in vandykes to correspond. White silk stockings, with blue kid shoes. The hair twisted up behind, and dressed in full curls, ornamented with a bandeau of light-blue twisted crape and roses. White kid gloves.”

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