Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Clara's 1819 Regency Evening Dress

Fashion in the early 1800s could be pretty complicated for society ladies. There were morning dresses, walking dresses, visiting dresses,  traveling dresses, riding dresses, dinner dresses, and evening dresses. There were fashion rules about how long the sleeves could be – for instance, it was not acceptable to wear short sleeves in the morning. Morning dresses were long-leeved and high-necked.

As a young lady, it would be proper for Clara to wear short sleeves in the evening. She could also have a wide neckline, but to be modest, she would need to wear ankle-length pantalettes under her gown. Bare arms were ok, but ankles! No way.

Of course, as always, high fashion was for the wealthy, so we'll have to pretend that Clara was wealthy and could afford expensive dresses.

The period in fashion from 1811 to 1820 is commonly known as the Regency Era. Dresses typically had high waists, and a simple silhouette. Layers of cloth created a flowing style. Evening dresses were typically decorated with rows of elaborate ribbons, tucks, or other decorations. Clara’s dress is a silk party dress, but not as elaborate as some evening gowns, since it is only decorated with a simple leaf detail.

A pair of thin dancing slippers with tiny bows and some tall silk stockings finish off the outfit.

Young ladies typically wore white or pastel colors in the 1810s when they dressed up for an event. The original  dress was a light, greenish tan (which may have been originally white, but turned brown with age). The leaf designs and ropes, and the neck and sleeve trim were a dull turquoise.

To print Clara's dress, use this PDF file:

Clara is a free, printable paper doll. Clara will be available on this blog as long as I continue to post new fashion pages for her. You can read the introduction for the Clara paper doll here.

To print the Clara paper doll, use this PDF file:

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