Walking Dress for Male and Female, January 1807

Le Beau Monde, January 1807.

“Morning Walking Dresses for Ladies & Gentlemen for January 1807.”

Before purses carried outside the dress (instead of in a pocket) were known as ridicules and then reticules, they were called indispensables, as this one is called in the description.

The modiste or dressmaker is often given credit in ladies’ magazines for designing, or “inventing” the dress. But this is one of the few times that a specific milliner is given credit for the hat.

I am intrigued that earrings are considered “quite out of fashion.” I’m not sure if that refers to earrings in general, or just those that this model is wearing. If the latter, we can barely see them to know why they might be unfashionable.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“Fig. No. 3.–A MORNING WALKING DRESS.–A plain muslin dress, walking length, made high in the front, and forms a shirt collar, richly embroidered; long sleeves, also embroidered round the wrists, and at the bottom of the dress; a pelisse opera coat, without any seam in the back, composed of orange-blossom tinged with brown, made of Angola cloth, or sarsnet, trimmed either with rich Chinchealley fur, or sable tipped with gold; white fur will also look extremely delicate. The pelisse sets close to the form on one side, and is fastened on the right shoulder with a broach; both sides may be worn close as a wrapping pelisse. Indispensables are still much worn, and of the same colour as the dress. The Agrippina hat, made at Millard’s, corner of Southampton-street, Strand, is truly elegant and quite new; the hair in loose curls, confined with a band of hair; ear-rings are quite out of fashion. Leather gloves, and high shoes of half-boots, of orange-blossom, brown velvet, or kid.”

“Fig. No. 4.–A MORNING WALKING DRESS FOR GENTLEMEN is composed of a dark brown coat, with double-breasted lappels, cut into angles, skirt moderately long; fancy toilinette, but chiefly marsailles, waistcoat, leather breeches, with two or three buttons, ascending above the knee; boots with round toes, and dark brown glossy tops.”

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