Evening Dress, November 1812

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, November 1812.

“Evening Dress.”

I always think a hat looks odd with an evening dress, though many prints do show hats with evening wear. But evening hats always look a bit different from bonnets worn during the day — a bit fancier, a bit more elegant, most often made to match the dress. The style of this hat in particular, called a shepherdess’s hat, seems more appropriate for day wear than evening wear. But designers tried new things all the time, as they still do, so perhaps this was simply an attempt at a new look. Did it take? Based on other prints of this period, I don’t think so.

The dress is quite pretty. It’s one of the few I’ve seen trimmed in ball fringe. And don’t you love the beautiful regency bench?

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A white crape or mull muslin petticoat, worn over white satin, finished round the bottom with a ball fringe of gold; a crimson velvet or satin bodice, formed as to partially expose the bosom and shoulders; a short bishop’s sleeve, edged with ball fringe, and ornamented with the same round the bosom and shoulders. A short sash of shaded ribband, to correspond to the colour of the bodice, tied in short bows and end in front of the figure. A shepherdess’s hat, composed of blended crimson velvet and white satin; a curled ostrich feather, placed entirely on one side, and waving toward the back of the neck. The hair divided on the forehead, and curled on each side, rather lower than of late. Treble neck-chain, and amulet of wrought gold; short drop ear-rings, and bracelets en suite. Crimson velvet or satin slippers trimmed with gold rosettes or fringe. White kid gloves, just avoiding the elbow. Fan of white and silver embossed crape, or carved ivory. Occasional scarf of white French silk, with embroidered ends and border. “

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