La Belle Assemblée, November, 1812.
The term “Half Full” can be confusing. Full Dress was the most formal evening wear, worn on occasions such as balls. Half Dress was worn in the afternoon and early evening and was more formal than morning dress, ie something that might be worn at afternoon events, such as garden parties or visiting galleries, etc. Half Dress could then be “dressed up” for dinner parties or the theater or other evening events with the addition of more formal accessories, jewelry, etc, making it Half Full Dress.
The print is described in the magazine as follows:
“Evening Dress: Round dress of cambric muslin, cut low in the neck, demi train and long sleeves; waist something shorter than they have been worn; very low in the neck, and trimmed round the bosom with a scalloped lace, which falls over and is put on broad at the bosom and narrow at the shoulders. Hat of Pomona green satin, turned up in front, and low on each side of the face. A Spanish button and loop in front, and a long white ostrich feather, which falls to the right side. Shawl of the same material as the hat, thrown over the shoulders carelessly, and its effect left to the taste of the wearer, the two ends which fall in front are finished with amber silk tassels, and trimmed to correspond. Hair dressed very full at the sides, and parted in front. Pomona slippers. White spangled fan; and white kid gloves.”