|Walking Dress March 1809|
Readers of Regency era stories will have encountered pelisses from time to time, but not all will have a clear picture in mind.
According to Jane Ashelford’s The Art of Dress, “During the first five years of the nineteenth century the pelisse was half-way between an over-tunic* and a coat. It was usually made with long sleeves and a high waist, and was knee-length, extending to the ankles only after 1810.”**
Nancy Bradfield’s Costume in Detail offers on page 97 an illustration of the construction of this 1816 caped coat or pelisse. And on pages 133-34 she provides a detailed look at this ca 1826-28 blue woolen cloth coat or pelisse.
Here’s a beautiful pelisse ca 1820, probably American.
For this quick tour of the pelisse world, you can thank alert reader Jill Sardella, who sent me to a set of blog posts about a pelisse believed to have belonged to Jane Austen, the project to reconstruct it, and the resulting article. The garment is a historical mystery: Will we ever be absolutely certain it was hers? My optimistic self believes that one of these days, a really good portrait of Jane Austen will turn up somewhere. And so of course I believe we’ll one day know definitely whether she wore this pelisse.
|Morning Dress 1800|
*I’ve seen the shorter lengths called “demi-pelisse.”
**The 1800 November fashion plate description reads: "Pelise of shot-silk, lined with pink. A ruff round the neck, and full at the bosom." You will note that it reaches the ground, which contradicts Ms. Ashelford's dating.
Image at top courtesy Internet Archive. Image below courtesy Google Books.
Clicking on the image will enlarge it. Clicking on the caption will take you to the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.