Opera Dress, March 1814

La Belle Assemblée, March 1814

“Opera Dress”

Though the print is labeled “Opera Dress,” the description in the magazine calls it a Walking Dress. I suspect this is an error in the text, not the print, as the figure appears to be standing in an opera box. Or perhaps the ensemble is meant for either an afternoon promenade at the fashionable hour, or for the Opera, as neither activity warrants full dress. Many prints of dresses to be worn at the Opera are labeled as Half Dress, which is evening wear somewhat less formal than full dress. (Full dress would have been worn to a ball or other formal evening event.)

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“Round dress of jaconet muslin, made nigh to the throat, and rather longer in the waist than last month. Long sleeves gauged at the wrists about an inch; the sleeve is left about two inches in length from the gauging, and edged with a very fine narrow lace. The collar, which is made tight to the neck, is also edged with a lace to correspond. A very rich embroidery goes round the bottom of the dress. The Huntley bonnet and scarf, for which we refer our readers to the Plate, have a very elegant effect; they are composed of rich twilled plaid sarsnet; the scarf is three lards in length, it is a straight piece, and is disposed according to the taste of the wearer. A beautiful Prince’s plume ornaments the bonnet. Very pale tan slippers and gloves.”



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