Riding Habit, December 1803

Journal des Dames et des Modes, Paris, December 12, 1803.

“Chapeau de Feutre. Soulieres d’Homme.”

Though it is difficult to see, the model is holding a riding crop in her left hand, clearly indicating this is a riding habit.

The short jacket has the typical peplum back always seen in habits, and is beautifully cut.  (Note the elegant seams.) The peplum is studded with buttons. The jacket sleeves are cut full in the shoulder for ease of movement.

The skirt is made quite full, with a long train used to cover the legs when riding. As she lifts the skirt, we are given a glimpse of the white under-dress or shift.

The black felt hat is called a jockey cap, styled to resemble a jockey’s racing cap, though this one is a bit higher in the crown than usual. It appears to have a black felt rosette attached to the brim.

She is not wearing half-boots, which one would expect for riding, though the print title does call them “men’s shoes.” Perhaps that means they are sturdier than normal slippers? French prints often show slippers worn with habits, whereas English prints almost always show half-boots.

This print was designed by Carle Vernet, a popular Parisian artist, who is a master at depicting drapery, as in the habit skirt here.

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