Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Cool and Beautiful, 1810 Edition

A couple of weeks ago we saw an amazing summer dress from the early 20th century. Now let’s jump back another hundred or so years—to 1810—and have a look at another delightful summer costume.

This Promenade Walking Dress from La Belle Assemblée for August, 1810 may be less airy than last week’s dress, but after all, London can be chilly even in summer.
The description reads: A plain cambric round morning dress, made high in the neck, with short train, let in round the bottom with two rows of worked trimming. A pelisse of green sarsnet, made to fit the shape, trimmed round with a narrow fancy trimming, cut with two scollops on the left side, on the right with one; fastened on the neck with a gold brooch, and confined round the waist with a girdle of the same, with gold clasp. A Lavinia unbleached chip hat, tied down with a broad white sarsnet ribband; a small white satin cap is worn underneath, with an artificial rose in front. The hair dressed in full curls. A plaid parasol; with York tan gloves; green silk sandals.

I have to say up front that I adore this pelisse: I love the contrasting trim and the neck treatment, and those asymmetrical scallops blow me away. It completely dresses up the “plain cambric round morning dress”, which I am all in favor of: it means our hypothetical young lady could hang out at home quite comfortably, then toss on this awesome pelisse and be all set for a shopping exhibition, some informal visiting, or a constitutional through Green Park to visit the cows.

Speaking of cows—I also love the informality of her chip hat (known to us today as a straw hat), unadorned and held down with a simple ribbon. This ensemble is the height of relaxed summer wear…at least as relaxed as it got in 1810.

Are you as captivated by this print as I am?

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