There were a number of social and fashion developments that contributed to this rather dramatic shift in women’s attire. The “Regency” style was most notably distinguished by the Grecian high waist, light-weight fabric, and simplistic flowing construction.
Some experts believe this fashion trend can find it’s roots in children’s clothing from previous decades. Young children (both boys and girls) in the 18th century wore simple gowns called “baby frocks.” Beginning around 1770, older girls began to wear these gowns as well. By the 1780’s, they were routinely worn by even teenage girls.
In addition, Marie Antoinette was known to retreat to the countryside with her entourage, forsaking the stiffling rococo gowns for these breezy alternatives as they role played out-of-character personas such as milk maidens. This childish behavior, however, likely did little to affect the fashion world in comparison to the profound impact made after the French Revolution by Josèphine de Beauharnais, first wife of Napolèon, and Empress to the French people.
* This information is intended to serve only as a general recommendation. If you belong to a reenacting group or work for an historic site, we strongly recommend you check with your group first before purchasing this outfit.
Pictured: ED-189 19th-Century Empire Dress. Made with a fully lined bodice. The knee-length liner in the skirt makes the chemise undergarment, often worn
during this period, unnecessary.
Unseen in picture (worn beneath skirt): SP-754 Cotton Stockings.
Alternatives: Most of the stockings we offer. You may also wish to use LG-307 Ladies’ Garters to keep your stockings in place.
Unseen in picture (worn beneath skirt): LS-920 Ladies’ Shoes.
Alternatives: Simple low-healed slip-on shoes are a tasteful alternative.
Pictures: gown back view, garter
Be sure to check out the ever-changing wide variety of available fabrics at www.TownsendFabrics.com