Walking Dress, July 1809

La Belle Assemblée, July 1809.

“Summer Walking Dress — 1809.”

This very strange headdress is not described in enough detail to make sense of it. It is called a bonnet, but does not seem to have a brim. There is some kind of opening in the front in which a sprig of lilac has been placed. And there is a veil over the face that is not mentioned at all. None of this seems to work together. All things considered, it is not a particularly flattering bonnet.

Note that the parasol is held by a loop at the top. Although we sometimes see a closed parasol with the point held on the ground, holding it by the point is much more typical. The loop can fit around the wrist leaving the hand free. Also note the short handle. It is not really short, but would extend. We also see collapsible parasols at this time.

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“A round robe of jaconet muslin, high in the neck, to lace up the back with coloured lacing, finished round the collar with scollop edging; long sleeves trimmed to correspond; a broad lace let in round the bottom between two rows of small tucks. Sash of corded ribband. Purple and green shot short pelisse, trimmed with broad scollop lace, confined tight to the figure with green band to correspond. Steel clasp. A half handkerchief of green figured silk round the neck. Fine worked or lace tippet handkerchief, edged with scollop lace, and ornamented with tassels, thrown carelessly over the back. Bonnet of figured sarsnet and lace, with pendent end and tassel on the left side. Shoes of pale green kid. Gloves of York tan.”

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