Evening Full Dress, January 1811

La Belle Assemblée, January 1811.

“Evening Dress”

We think of the Regency style of dress as elegant, but, as with all eras of fashion, there are hits and misses. For me, this one is a miss, mostly due to the slashes at the bosom. It’s a horrible way to draw attention to that part of the body. Remove those bead-edged slashes and it would be a rather nice dress. Of course, this opinion is based on 21st century sensibilities. The dress might have been a winner in 1811.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“An amber colour crape dress, with long sleeves, and frock waist, tied with white ribband; slashed Spanish front, let in with satin of the same colour, ornamented with white beads, the bosom and sleeves trimmed with beads; on the back of the dress is worn a drapery of amber colour satin hanging over the shoulders in front, or tied in a bow behind, which either way forms a pretty finish to the dress. It is made just to touch the ground, and is bordered with a rich satin of the same colour, edged with beads. This truly elegant dress is worn over a white satin slip. The cap is composed of amber plaited ribband and lace, edged with vandyke lace, tied in a bow on the left side, with amber flower in front. Necklace and earrings of pearl. Amber satin shoes; white kid gloves; a tippet of swansdown.”

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