Historical Fashion How-To: Regency
Hi all! How was your Independence Day? Mine was full of fun and good eats with friends. I have a patriotic outfit to share with you at some point, but guess what!? I'm up to me ears in outfits that I need to post! Of course, this isn't necessarily a problem. ;) For now, we'll just hop in our fashion time machine and take a look at the Regency era.
Regency (Early 1800's)
If you are like most of the ladies in Western civilization, you have probably watched at least one Jane Austen movie. The period portrayed in Austen's books and their movie counterparts is easy to call "Jane Austen times", but it is historically known as the Regency era. This is because King George III of England had gone mad, and his son was ruling in his place as regent from 1811- 1820. According to Wikipedia, the term "Regency" often extends beyond the actual regency and refers to the years 1795-1837.
During the late 18th century, France went through a time of upheaval. King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and many others were executed by revolutionaries who wanted an end of government. Fashion took a turn during this time, as people no longer wanted to dress like the royals. Where France went with style, the world followed. In the 1790's, draping gowns that resembled the ancient Greek and Roman styles were popular, as were simple hairstyles. By the early 19th century, women were dressing a far cry from Marie Antoinette's opulent style, wearing dresses with high waists and straight lines.
My Regency inspired outfit would have been worn in the first few years of the 1800's. The dress I'm wearing has a high neckline and short, full sleeves, and fairly narrow skirt that are reminiscent of the era. My maxi skirt again saves the day, becoming an extension of the dress. My accessories were a cross necklace and a fichu made of a bit of chiffon tucked into my neckline - fichus were an add-on used to fill in the neckline of a dress, and could take on more elaborate forms. Flat shoes completed my outfit.
Of course, no historical ensemble would be truly complete without a period correct hairdo. ;) With center parting, small braids, and curls, the hairstyle my mom did for me was typical of the era. My bangs were also done in small curls, which hearkened back to the tightly curled styles of the Regency. This era's look was really quite easy to mimic, and I would encourage you to try it if you ever need to come up with an easy look for a costume party!
Now, I have an announcement. *Ahem* Sunday Best will soon be featuring a new series! This new series will define different kinds of styles, how to tell the difference between them (like what the difference is between an oxford and a spectator shoe), and what to call those items in your closet whose official names are a mystery. Though its name and beginning date are not yet decided, please stay tuned. By the way, I'm hoping that there will still be more occasional Historical How-To posts making guest appearances.
It's time for me to ask you what you would like to see. Are there any styles that you would like to see defined in the new series? Are there any eras that you would like to see me do a historical post for? Thanks for the input!