Walking Dresses, January 1808

La Belle Assemblée, January 1808.

“Fashionable Walking Dresses in December 1807.”

In fashion prints throughout the Regency period, accessories and colors are often named after various countries, ie Spanish sleeve, French veil, Polish bonnet, Chinese red, Sardinian blue, etc. But this is the first print  where I recall seeing the term “American green.” I wonder why this shade of green is associated with America?

The print is described in the magazine as follows:

“No. 1. – A Morning Dress. A round cambric gown, a walking length, with short full sleeve, and puckered cuff, buttoned or laced down the back, and made high round the neck, with a full frill of lace. A military stock, edged round the chin with the same. A figured Chinese scarf, the colour American green, twisted round the figure in the style of antique drapery. Melon bonnet the same colour, striped, and trimmed to correspond with the scarf. Hair in irregular curls on the forehead. Earrings of gold or topaz. Long York tan, or Limerick gloves, above the elbow. Slippers of yellow Morocco. This dress, divested of the bonnet, is considered genteel negligée for any period of the day.

“No. 2. – A Morning Walking, or Carriage Habiliment. A simple breakfast robe of India muslin, or cambric; with plain high collar, and long sleeve. Plain chemisette front, buttoned down the bosom. A Calypso wrap of morone velvet, or kerseymere, trimmed entirely round with white ermine, or swansdown. Spanish hanging-sleeve, suspended from the back, and falling over the left shoulder, terminating in a round point below the elbow. This ornament is lined throughout with skin the same as the trimming. A mountain hat of white Imperial beaver, or fur, tied under the chin with a ribband the colour of the coat. Gloves and shoes of American green, or buff. Cropt hair, confined with a band, and curled over the left eye.”

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