Compare and contrast the simpler lines of these 1814 fashions with those for January 1815 we showed last year. It's interesting that the change is noticeable even before Waterloo, which I'd always viewed as the point where fashion began its gradual turn toward the flamboyant, which peaked at a wonderful level of craziness in the 1830s.
FASHIONS FOR LADIES.
PLATE 4.—PROMENADE COSTUME.
A PLAIN cambric robe, with long gathered sleeve and high arched collar, trimmed with net lace or muslin. A Spanish lappelled coat of fine orange Merino cloth; full epaulette ornaments on the shoulders: the whole lined throughout with white sarsnet, and trimmed with a raised border of white velvet or swansdown. A small, provincial bonnet of the same material as the coat, ornamented with a full curled ostrich feather. White spotted ermine or Chinchilli muff. Gloves grey or light blue kid. Half-boots of orange-coloured jean, or velvet.
PLATE 5.—MORNING DRESS. A round robe of plain jaconot muslin, with spencer bodice, and rounded falling collar, edged with lace or needle-work; the same ornamenting the bottom of the dress. A loose robe pelisse of Indian muslin, thrown quite open in front, trimmed entirely round with a full gathered border of muslin or lace; the back confined at the bottom with a lemon - coloured ribband, brought round the waist, and tied in bows and ends in front. The Flushing mob cap, composed entirely of lace, ornamented with lemon-coloured ribband, which also confines it under the chin. A small rosary and cross of amber, twisted round the wrist, and a broach of the same confining the dress at the throat. Slippers and gloves of lemon-coloured kid.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.