Historical Fashion How-To ~ Georgian Era (Late 1700's)


   It's high time for another historical fashion post! :) Today's time period is what is commonly known as the Georgian era, when England was ruled by the earlier King Georges. My costume study focuses on the late 18th century during the rule of King George the III.

Georgian Era (Late 1700's)


                   Source                                                        Source

  This era marked a time of opulence in clothing, with Marie Antoinette of France and her court reigning over the fashion scene. Ladies' dress of the era had a unique shape and required stiff, supportive undergarments to achieve the figure that was in vogue. Hips were exaggerated with panniers worn under the dress, eventually reaching ridiculous proportions. Stomachers were stiff triangles worn at the front of the bodice. Lace, bows, ruffles and all manner of accessories abounded. As far as hair went, bigger was deemed better. Hair was worn sky high with elaborate curls and ringlets, and many women wore enormous powdered wigs.
   Working class clothing simpler, but still reflected some of the looks of the era. After the French Revolution, however, much of the elaborate aspect of high fashion was lost. People wanted to look more like the working class. No one wanted to resemble the royals of France who had been executed by the revolutionaries. In the years that followed, fashion had a complete turnaround...but that's another post!

   In this instance of replicating historical fashion, I did not actually raid my closet for everyday clothes. If you were hoping that I would show you how to look like Marie Antoinette with what you already have in your closet, I apologize. However, please stay tuned for hair and makeup tips, as well as a little trick that I learned about dressing up shoes. And who knows, you might be inspired to make a Georgian costume! :D
   The lovely burgundy gown I'm wearing is one that my Mom made for a high school banquet that I attended  a few years ago when my best friend and I wanted to go as Georgian ladies. I worked with my Mom to design the dress - it's actually a separate bodice and skirt that can be joined with hook and eye closures-, working from a pattern for a Renaissance dress.We included the stiff lace-covered stomacher, lace bell sleeves, and square neckline that would have been typical of the late 1700s. A few extra embellishments, such as embroidered sleeves dressed it up. The costume is not as elaborate as it would have been for the European courts, so I imagine that it might be similar to something worn by an upper class American woman during the time of the revolution.
   The hair, makeup, and accessory credit also goes to my mom for today's costume! She had the idea of tying the ribbon and lace around my neck to recreate the Georgian look. For my hair, she teased two sections of it on the top of my head. Then, she gave me a curled "ponytail" and curled several locks around my face. To top it all off, my hair was "powdered" with cornstarch. Voila! Now we have an 18th century inspired updo. As for the makeup, she used a tutorial that you can see here. Fashionable Georgians were fond of putting beauty marks, often in unusual shapes, on their faces, so we included one of those too! The finishing touch to this ensemble was a pair of black heels, which I dressed up by attaching a clip-on earring to the front each shoe. :)

  Before bidding you all adieu, I would like to let you know that I won't be able to post again for several days. Hopefully, I will get back to posting some time next weekend. Until then, may you all have a blessed week full of the joy of the Lord! :)

"Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;

He will answer him from His holy heaven

With the saving strength of His right hand. 
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;But we will remember 
the name of the Lord our God. "
~Psalm 20:6-7



  1. I love this! Definitely brings back memories ;) and the hair is so cool! I really wish there was more of a closeup of your face, though, so I could see the beauty mark better ;D

    1. Thank you! Yes, there are such exciting memories. ;) *Riip* Oops...
      Heh, well the beauty mark isn't that exciting, but I can email you a pic if you would like.

  2. Interesting to hear about Georgian period dress! Your hair looks nice (even with cornstarch)!

    1. Thank you! :) Mom did a good job.

  3. How fun! That's a beautiful dress

  4. Oh wow, when I saw that first picture I thought it was an inspiration picture not your outfit! Great job!

  5. Wow!! That is super impressive! :) You look great and your mom is super good with hair!

    1. Thank you Laura! :) Yeah, I think so. ;)

  6. Amazing Paige!!

    Your hair is......so. stunning! What fun to play dress-up for a day! :)

    Your mother is such a great seamstress! I love seeing her creativeness in your outfits!

    the elder sister

    1. Thanks so much Cassie! Yes, it was fun to play the part of wealthy Georgian woman. :)

  7. Great job Paige! Kudos to your mama, the dress looks so pretty :) The costuming part isn't hard for me but I have short hair (that I'm growing out) and the hair part is slightly complicated :) Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thank you and you're welcome McKenna! I was thinking of your lovely Georgian pieces while putting this together. :)


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