1808 Blue Grey Redingote, French. High waist, coordinating trim, short puffed sleeves over long yellow straight sleeves, yellow striped bandana in her hair, yellow gloves and yellow walking boots. Jane Austen and her female contemporaries wore coats like these when outdoors because they needed the warmth over the fashionable light muslin dresses that all women wore. Redingotes could be both comfortable and decorative. They often had military elements in support of the thousands of men involved in ongoing wars. Fashion Plate via Journal des Dames et des Modes, or Costume Parisien.
Definition Redingote Or Pelisse Or Walking Dress Or Coat: Long fitted outdoor coat worn over other garments for warmth. Often left open at the front to show off the dress underneath. French word developed from English words, riding coat.
Bandeau: Narrow strip or band worn around head to confine hair. Made of either twisted fabric, length of pearls, flowers, jewels or feathers. From the French word for “strip.
The type of dress worn across Europe in the early 1800s. This sort of high-waisted dress would have been worn by Jane Austen and her contemporaries in England. The Empire waist gown defined women’s fashion during the Regency Era. ‘Empire’ is the name given in France to the period when Napoleon built his French Empire. High-waisted, loose gowns were adopted by the aristocracy as a symbol of turning away from the fussy, elaborate and expensive clothing worn in the 1700s.
16th-19th Centuries Gentlemen’s Banyans. Banyan’s were worn before the Georgian Era and continued to be popular through the Regency and Victorian Eras for Men’s At-Home Fashion. After this, banyans were replaced buy shorter smoking jackets, yet all through these many hundred years banyans served the same purpose of being a comfortable yet respectable item of clothing that could be worn at home by men when they spent time in the evenings with family or friends.
Fabrics imitating animal patterns and colors appeared in European fashionable dress as early as the 18th century, when elaborate trompe l’oeil silk designs emulated exotic furs intertwined with expensive laces. Such fabrics communicated a sense of luxury, wealth and power. Cultural crossdressing was a long-established tradition among merchants working in the East. While it helped them to assimilate into the local community, adopting exotic forms of dress at home also played an important part in fashioning their identity as a worldly traveller. International experience heightened social standing so wearing a banyan showed a high social status. Surviving garments from the 18th and 19th centuries show that it changed little over time, other than to loosely reflect the fashionable line of menswear of the period in the cut of the skirts, choice of collar and fit of the body.
1799 Gentleman’s Daily Outfit, French. Brown Cutaway coat with a velvet collar. Baggy white trousers ending at the ankle but with stirrups under the feet to secure them, black shoes, hat, and a cane. Fashion Plate via suzilove.com and Journal des Dames et des Modes, or Costume Parisien. books2read.com/suziloveFashMen1700
1801 November 9th Playing Cards. Men and women play cards at round table. Supreme Bon Ton Plate 2. Published by S W Fores. Men and women play cards at round table. Man and woman talk to players. Woman sleeps in upright chair, two others, one with parasol and other fan, walk off arm-in-arm.Men: High-waisted coats, high collars, huge neck-cloths, with pumps or Hessian boots. Women: High-waisted dresses, short sleeves, long trains, very low necklines, short ringlets, two in caps. Via British Museum, London, UK. britishmuseum.org (PD-Art)
In Jane Austen’s times, cartoons posted in the windows of shops were one of the main ways people found news. Common people couldn’t afford newspapers so cartoonists ridiculed the people and the places with cartoons of the daily events happening in London and other cities. The ridiculous fashion trends of the late 1700s and early 1800s were easy targets for satirical cartoons as was the addiction to gambling by women and men alike.
In honor of the birthday of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen, on 28th January, 1813, I’m highlighting some of my bookmarks. I laminate these and give them away at my book signings so feel free to download and use them.