Opera Dress, March 1813

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, March 1813.

“Opera Dress”

Opera Dress March 1813Dresses described as “Opera Dress” fall into the category of Half Dress, ie an evening ensemble not as formal as Full Dress,

Hats of the style shown here are often seen in half dress, and occasionally full dress, of this period, though the most formal full dresses are seldom shown with hats. Evening hats, such as this one, are typically less structured than a stiff outdoor bonnet, and composed of fabric, such as satin, more appropriate to evening than day wear.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A round low dress, of fine India muslin, the bosom composed entirely of needle-work and lace beading, and a correspondent border round the waist with a sash tied in front. A robe pelisse, of fine amber-coloured cloth, or satin; bordered round in shaded brown chenille, with deep and rich corners. The pelisse lined throughout with white satin or sarsnet; and trimmed entirely round, and at the wrists, with a full swansdown border. A white satin hat, of the Spanish form, turned up with three rows of white beads or pearl; a curled ostrich feather waving toward one side. A neck-chain and cross of the satin bead, with ear-rings en suite. Gloves of white kid; and slippers of satin, the colour of the pelisse, trimmed with fringe. A fan of ivory, or crape, decorated with fancy feathers.”

The fan mentioned is not shown in the print, but may have been something like this.

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