Riding Habit, July 1818

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, July 1818.

“Riding Dress”Riding Habit July 1818Certain elements of the riding habit remain the same throughout the period: the full back, the train, and the tiny peplum in the back (remnant of the longer habit coats of the previous century). But here we also see changes that reflect what is happening in fashion in general. The waist is higher, the shoulder given more emphasis, and more ornamentation overall, as seen here in the braiding on the shoulders, sleeves, and down the front. Another sign of the times is the hat. It is made of cork, which I have not seen in prints before 1818. And every instance of cork bonnets, at least among my collection, are shown with dresses designed by Miss Macdonald. In the British Lady’s Magazine it is mentioned several times that she is the “inventress of the Ionian Cork Hats.”

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A habit composed of fine slate-coloured cloth; the skirt is of a moderate fulness, and finished up the front with braiding. The body is short in the waist: for the form of it, which is very novel, we refer our readers to our print; it is braided in a very rich manner, as is also the sleeve. Head-dress, a round hat, composed of cork. Slate-coloured leather boots, and Limeric gloves.

“We are indebted to Miss Macdonald of 50, South Moulton-street for both our dresses this month [including this one].”

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