Carriage Dress, April 1813

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, April 1813.

“Carriage Dress”

It is not clear what makes this a Carriage Dress and not a Walking Dress. One assumes that a Carriage Dress was meant for travel, and therefore perhaps more comfortable. But many of them look so much like an ordinary Walking Dress, that one has to wonder if the fashion editors and dress-makers did not make up the category simply to convince their clients that they could not possibly wear the same dress for walking and driving.

Note the pretty green reticule, which looks as if it was made out of the same fabric as the mantle. It is a typical style of the period: a drawstring bag with tassels.

The print is described in the magazines as follows:

“A high round robe of jaconet or cambric muslin, plaited bodice, long sleeve, and deep falling frill, terminated with a vandyke of needle-work. A Russian mantle, of pomona or spring green sasnet, lined with white satin,and trimmed with a rich frog fringe and binding, confined with a cord or tassel, as taste or convenience may direct. A cottage slouch bonnet, of corresponding materials, edged with antique scollopped lace, confined under the chin with ribband, tied on the left side; and appositely ornamented with a small cluster of spring flowers. Slippers of green kid, or jean, and gloves of primrose kid.”

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