Carriage Dress, September 1815

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, September 1815.

“Carriage Dress”

It is not at all clear to me why this is called a Carriage Dress. It looks like an ordinary Walking Dress to me. A dress meant for traveling would normally include on outer garment of some kind — a pelisse, spencer, or mantle — and would likely include sturdier shoes than sandals that lace up the ankle. (Sandals at this time were any slipper that had laces over the ankle, not the open-toed shoes we now consider to be sandals.) But as both the print title and the descriptive text name this a Carriage Dress, I suppose that’s what it is.

Note the quizzing glass worn on a gold chain, a popular accessory for ladies at this time.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“CARRIAGE DRESS. Cambric muslin, jacconet, or French cambric dress, of short walking length, ornamented round the skirt with four borders of embroidery laid on; long sleeve, the fulness at the wrist confined in a bracelet of corresponding embroidery let in. Plain handkerchief, front trimmed en suite. The back of the dress broad and plain. sloped low between the shoulders; the fulness of the petticoat extended round the waist; the sleeve worn considerably off the shoulder, and the waist very short. The Anglesea chip hat, decorated with a full cluster of ostrich feathers, drooping forward. Sandals, kid, of the Pomona green colour. Gloves, Limerick or York tan.”


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