La Belle Assemblée, June 1816.
“Riding Dress, Invented by Mrs. Bell.”
It would be interesting to see the back of this habit, as Mrs. Bell had altered it in a way that “preserves all the contour of the form, which habits, in general, are apt to destroy.” I’m not sure what that means.
The sloping shoulders and loose sleeves are typical of the current direction of female fashion, seen in spencers and pelisses at this time.
The high shirt collar, in the style of a gentleman’s shirt, is tied with a blue handkerchief. It is not clear if the lace ruff is part of the jacket or a separate article.
The beaver hat is also in the masculine style, and is often seen with habits.
The print is described in the magazine as follows:
“Of fine blue Merino cloth, embroidered and ornamented round the bust and cuffs in a novel and unique style. This new equestrian costume, by fastening on the back of the shoulder, preserves all the contour of the form, which habits, in general, are apt to destroy. A full double ruff of fine Vandyke lace is separated from the shirt collar by a Chinese silk handkerchief of blue and white. Small round hat of fine beaver or of moss silk. Half boots of blue kid; with Limerick gloves worked and seamed with blue.”