Morning Dresses, November 1794

Gallery of Fashion, November 1794.

“Two Ladies at Breakfast in Their Dressing-Room.”

These casual morning dresses are exactly what was meant by the term “undress.” The dresses were not meant to be seen outside the home or by visitors. They are very private garments. Even the caps are called “night caps,” which suggests that they might have been worn to bed. I’m not sure why a woman would wear a Duke of York night cap, but there you have it.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“Fig. XXIX. HEAD-DRESS. A French night cap, the cawl of worked muslin, with a double border of lace in half plaits; round the head, a broad striped riband quilled, with a large bow behind, and in the front. The peignoir, or loose jacket and petticoat of checker muslin, with a very broad hem, and the trimming of plain muslin, scolloped. Large muslin handkerchief within the peignoir. A narrow riband tied round the waist. White mules, or slippers.

“Gig. XXX. HEAD-DRESS. Duke of York’s night cap of clear muslin, the plaits drawn together at the top, and trimmed with narrow lace, the whole tied round with a small pink riband; deep border edged with the same lace, falling carelessly round the face; a pink riband round the head, tied in a bow behind. Gown and petticoat of fine calico; the petticoat trimmed with a deep flounce of plain muslin; the gown with a capuchin cape, and long sleeves tied at the wrists with pink riband; the whole trimmed with plain muslin. Large muslin handkerchief within the gown. Red Morocco slippers.”

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