Fashion for a Fashionable Item

Hand-held fans, previously reserved for royalty and aristocrats, become a must-have accessory for every lady in high society at the end of the 17th century. The trend to carry a fan spreads rapidly through society. With this, the decoration of the fan leave becomes light-hearted: The religious and classical motifs give way to pastoral scenes, al fresco parties, and themes of love-and-courtship. Interestingly, fashion itself also features on the fashionable accessories, serving as a fashion plate and fashion statement.

Continue reading

Attractive, Distinctive, One Size: The Military Uniform in the Late 18th Century

The uniform dress for the army became the norm in the mid-17th century. Styles and decoration depended on status and image of the troop, and the wearer of the uniform. In contrast to today’s camouflage, uniforms of the 18th and 19th centuries displayed bright and contrasting colours. The idea was to make it easier to distinguish units in battle, and to enable commanders to spot their troops on battlefields that often were obscured by smoke from cannons.

Uniforms for lower ranks

In the 18th century, uniforms for the lower ranks were often mass-produced. Uniforms usually had standard sizes and designs to make it easier to replace them on campaign. In Britain, troops were equipped with new uniforms once a year.

from left to right: infantry soldier (France, 1780); 95th rifles uniform (British, Peninsular Wars era)

Continue reading

Unique Fans Related to Historic Events of the 18th Century

Hand-held fans of the 18th century were more than an accessory. They often commemorated political milestones, were a display of loyalty and patriotism, and celebrated popular social and scientific events.

For this post, I have compiled 8 fans related to historic events of the 18th century for you. Enjoy the beauty and singularity of the objects, and marvel at the craftsmanship.

Continue reading

Ladies‘ Fashion: The Gown in the Romantic Age

bild1Women’s gowns changed significantly throughout the Romantic Age. Until about 1780, France had been the ‘Kingdom of fashion’. Everybody had copied French designs and styles. With the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon to power, three things happened:

  • Aristocratic fashion with its excessive use of lace, brocade and silk fell out-of favour. Fashion adopted ideas of freedom, love of nature and early-democratic cultures such as Roman and Grecian antiquity.
  • French fashion leaders and their modistes fled from Paris to London. London became the new centre of fashion.
  • Napoleon’s Continental System blocked England from its previous market places for cloth. England’s search for new commercial partners led to the discovery of new fabrics for fashion. These allowed for new styles and cuts.

I have compiled a selection of photos of beautiful women’s gowns of 1740 – 1825. Follow me to the world of ladies’ fashion. Continue reading

A Time Traveller’s Adventure: At the Opening of Norfolk House

music-room-ceilingDear Regency Enthusiast

Let’s leave the Romantic Age for one glamorous evening and go to the mid 18th century. We shall discover one of the major society events of the year 1756: The opening of Norfolk House in London.

Follow me to ‘All Things Georgian’, the brilliant website of Sarah Murden and Joanne Major, history detectives and acclaimed authoresses. Sarah and Joanne kindly feature my guest post about a grand event and 6 tips to succeed there as time travelling guests of the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk.

Please click here to go to the post and find out more.

Best regards,

Anna M. Thane

The World of Fashion in the 18th Century – Part 1: Accessories for Gentlemen

1798 Dress SwordCourt suits, breeches and waistcoats of the 18th century are highly aesthetic. They are, however, incomplete without the matching accessories. Therefore, stockings, dress swords, watches, buttons, etc. are in the spotlight of today’s post. I have compiled a selection of photos of these beautiful fashion items, so follow me to the world of accessories for gentlemen. Continue reading

The Evolution of the Waistcoat in the 18th Century

1795-98 Court suit waistcoat detail

Elaborately embroidered waistcoat of a court suit

A gentleman wasn’t properly dressed without a waistcoat. A waistcoat was a highly elaborate piece of clothing and allowed to show off exquisite taste in fashion. The garment itself was the subject of fashion trends. You would of course suppose that its decoration varied throughout the 18th century. But did you know that the cut changed significantly, too? Learn about the styles of waistcoats throughout the decades in this post. Continue reading