London Fashions March 1823

Today, we return to one of my favourite publications, Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, for March 1823 to take a look at what the fashionable woman of the day wore. The fashion of the day not only appeared in Ackermann’s but also in regional newspapers and as far afield as Bombay, by which time what had been the fashion of the day was by the time they received it, a good few months out of date, but presumably British women living enjoyed keeping up with the ever changing fashions back in London.

Walking Dress

Ackermann’s tells us about the Walking Dress for March, which as you can see from this sketch, was a deep amethyst colour silk pelisse of gros de Naples, wadded, and lined with pink sarsnet. A little wrapt and fastened down the front with hooks and eyes. A corsage, made plain and high, ornamented with tasselled chevronelles; circular projecting collar of velvet, of a deeper hue than the silk; two rows of velvet are placed down the front and round the bottom of the skirt. Sleeve nearly to fit, with velvet cuff, and full epaulette, intersected with velvet straps.

Bucks Point lace from first half of 19th century. Courtesy of Wikipedia

A ruff of Buckinghamshire lace; cap of the same,  fastened under the chin with button and loop. Bonnet of the same silk as the pelisse, bound with broad velvet and lined with pink satin: the front bent á la Marie Stuart; the crown surrounded with inverted conical rouleau of velvet, equidistant, commencing with a silk knot; plume of ostrich feathers, of a bright amethyst colour, places of the right side, and falling low on the left shoulder. Gloves the colour of the pelisse. Corded silk boots, the colour of the velvet and a swansdown muff.

Evening Dress

A dress of pink gros de Naples: corsage to fit, edged with pink satin, and slash to the form of the stomacher; the interstices, or scollops, are filled with pink gauze, connected by circlets, and forming a tasteful chain, which continues to the waist behind, and gives the shape of the back: full court sleeves, confined with straps, bound with satin, satin circlets fastening the ends: a band of satin and full trimming of fluted gauze finish the sleeve, which is of a moderate length. The skirt is decorated with a fanciful trimming of double gauze; each division of the puff debrobé is supported by a satin rouleau and the lower part projects as far again as the upper: sprigs of the lonicera sempervirens, or great trumpet honeysuckle are disposed at regular distances above, and beneath is a satin rouleau; and the hem wadded. Broad pink satin sash, double bow and long ends. Blond lace scarf. Bracelet and earrings and necklace of that beautiful stone, the pink topaz, set in embossed gold, to which a cross is generally suspended. Head-dress, a gold tiara, ornamented with brilliants. White kid gloves, and white satin shoes.



10 thoughts on “London Fashions March 1823

  1. The lace you’ve shown is glorious, as is the evening dress. Thanks for sharing it all. I copied the article so that I can look at it again and again to gain a better understanding of the gowns of that period. (I’m writing an alternative history and my book will describe some of the fashions of the day.)


      1. zuleikaa

        It’s a comment from a book on the history of Australian fashion – I think it was written in the 1980s. It’s a quote from the first half of the 19th century.

        I read the book many years ago, so I can’t be precise. I think there was something about cabbage tree hats in the title, but I could be wrong.

        It makes sense – the people with money were desperate to be seen as fashionable and up to date, because they were so far from the UK; while those in rural England were less concerned with the latest fashions. Remember that almost all the convicts came from urban areas (although by the late Regency they were in the minority), and many of the soldiers and free settlers were younger sons of wealthy or noble families and their wives; people who were keen on keeping up appearances

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarahmurden

      I suspect we would have to pay a great deal to buy dresses so intricate, rather than the mass produced clothing we buy today 🙂


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