Dinner Dress, May 1818

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, May 1818.

“Dinner Dress”

I have seen several copies of this print and all show the same lavender and purple coloring. As you can see below, the colors in the magazine text are described as shades of peach. In cases like this one has to wonder if the colorists were given different instructions, or if the editorial description was changed after the prints had been colored.

Though this dress is called a Dinner Dress, placing it in the category of Half Dress, it looks elegant enough to have served as Full Dress, ie Evening Dress or Ball Dress. Its shape is typical of this period in its minuscule bodice and overly decorated skirt.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A white British net dress, which is worn over a bright peach-colour satin slip. The dress is finished at the bottom of the skirt by a row of broad and singularly beautiful trimming, composed of satin to correspond to the slip, which is interspersed with narrow white silk fancy trimming: a row of this latter is placed at the bottom of the skirt, and another row surmounts the peach and white border. The body is called the corsage à la Circassie; it is composed of peach-coloured satin, made without seam, cut very low in the bust, displays exactly the proportions of the shape, and is so contrived as to form a novel half-sleeve, which wraps across the lower part, and displays a full white satin sleeve worn underneath. The body and sleeves are ornamented with narrow white silk trimming, to correspond with the skirt. Head-dress, a bright peach-colour silk handkerchief, disposed in the turban style, and ornamented in front with a large bunch of white roses. The hair is much parted on the forehead, and disposed in full curls at the sides. Pearl necklace and ear-rings. White kid gloves. White satin shoes. Small ivory fan.”


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