Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, December 1813.
This is the only time that I am aware of when Ackermann published two prints showing the same dress worn two ways. It is interested that the dress is described as being appropriate for either the opera or evening party, as well as for day wear as a walking dress or carriage costume. The type of fabric used makes it most appropriate for Half Dress in the evening (operas, private parties, etc) rather than the more luxurious fabrics used for Full Dress, which would not lend themselves to conversion into a carriage costume.
The prints are described in the magazine as follows:
“Plate 40.–PROMENDADE OR CARRIAGE COSTUME. This dress, when divested of the spencer, or jacket, exhibits the EVENING OR OPERA COSTUME, Plate 41.
“In order to render these commodious habiliments the more clearly understood by our readers, we shall commence with a description of the Evening or Opera Costume; which consists of a round robe of morone or crimson-soloured Merino, kerseymere, or queen’s cloth, ornamented round the bottom and up the front with a fancy gold embroidered border. The bodice is composed of satin, or velvet, of the same colour, trimmed round the bosom and sleeves with gold braid and narrow swansdown; the front of the bodice richly ornamented with gold and pearl buttons. a gold band and pearl or diamond clasp confine the bottom of the waist, with a gold frog pending on each side, inclining toward the back of the figure. The robe is laced behind with gold cord. Hair disposed in dishevelled curls, falling on the left side, and decorated with clusters with variegated autumnal flowers. Necklace, composed of a treble row of pearls, white cornelian, or the satin bead, confined in front with a diamond clasp. Ear-rings and bracelets to correspond. Slippers, of crimson velvet, ornamented with gold fringe and rosettes, though ewe recommend those of white satin in preference. White kid gloves, below the elbow. Fan, of richly frosted silver crape.
“The great convenience and novel attraction of this dress, consist in its admitting of a spencer of the same material as the robe (as seen in our promenade figure), which is richly ornamented, à la militaire, with gold braid and netted buttons, forming a sort of epaulette on the shoulders. The spencer is embroidered up the seams of the back, on the shoulders, and cuffs, to correspond with the bottom of the robe. This spencer, when worn over the evening dress, affords at once both comfort and utility; and, with the addition of a straw of velvet hat, ornamented with feathers, and half-boots or Roman shoes, constitutes a most attractive Carriage or Promenade Costume. The convenience as well as becoming properties of this seasonable habiliment, will be duly appreciated by such ladies as are in the habit of attending the theatres or private evening parties, affording a compact and comfortable protection from a damp and cold atmosphere, and which may be easily relinquished on entering the drawing room. It were needless to observe that this dress admits of being constructed in any colour, and of many suitable trimmings. It is the sole invention of Mr. Barry, tailor and habit-maker, 55 New Bond-street, where it is exhibited, and where orders are received.”