Morning Dress, July 1815

La Belle Assemblée, July 1815.

“Morning Dress.”

According to the description, this dress can be adapted to a Dinner Dress by removing the skirt. It does not mention attaching another different skirt, so it is a bit puzzling. In the form shown, it is every inch a Morning Dress, with full, loose sleeves. It almost looks like she is wearing a pelerine around her shoulders, but we cannot be sure as there is no description of the top or bodice of the dress.

It seems odd to wear such a structured hat with a Morning Dress, unless it was meant as an outdoor Morning Dress. But she seems to be at home, drinking coffee or chocolate and admiring the fashion prints in a ladies’ magazine. Perhaps the hat was meant to be worn when the dress was transformed into a Dinner Dress.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“Round dress of jaconet muslin, made to answer the double purpose of a morning or dinner-dress; in the former, as our readers will perceive  by the Print it is worn with a skirt, in the latter without. We shall not enter into any description of the form of this really elegant, novel, and tasteful dress. Our readers may form an idea of the front from the Print; the back is calculated to display the figure to the greatest advantage, as the shape is formed by the dress in a style equally elegant and original. Hat of white pearl silk, ornamented à-la-Francoise, with a superb plume of feathers, and a bunch of artificial flowers. We have not for a length of time seen any thing so becoming as this tasteful little hat, the toute ensemble of which is at once novel, striking, and elegant. Necklace, ear-rings, and bracelets of plain dead gold. Primrose sandals, and white kid gloves.

“The above dresses [including this one] were invented by Mrs. Bell, Inventress of the Ladies Chapeau Bras and the Circassian corsets, and of whom only they can be had, at her Magazin de Modes, No. 26, Charlotte-street, Bedford-square.”

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