Awkward! The Regency Court Gown: Regency Fashion

Jane Austen's World

Court dress, Heideloff gallery, 1794-95 Court dress, Heideloff gallery, 1794-95

Female gowns worn at court during the Regency era looked ungainly. Instead of the lovely columnar silhouette of the Grecian-inspired draped gown, court gowns at this time made their wearers resemble the upper half of an extravagantly decorated apple or a pregnant cake topper.

These custom creations, made with sumptuously expensive materials, adhered to the rules laid down by Queen Charlotte, who presided over the royal drawing rooms until her death.Earlier Georgian gowns flattered a lady’s waist, with corsets that made the waist seem miniscule. As waists rose, the silhouette of the gowns became grotesque, swallowing a lady’s figure in a ball of fabric.

dress of the princess augusta_1799_hern The dress of the Princess Augusta, on the King’s Birthday, June 4, 1799. Phillips, The Fsshions of London and paris, July 1799. Source: candicehern.com

While narrow clinging draperies falling about the feet in loose folds were being worn everywhere else —…

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