It’s a major faux pax today to be caught wearing socks with sandals, but for ladies in the Regency period, one wouldn’t be caught wearing one without the other. In this month’s first fashion plate, we see a rare example of a lady in sandals, these ones made of lilac kid. You can just make out the tiny straps around the lady’s ankles if you look closely at the plate. The lilac scarf sash,”worn in braces,” also gives this summer outfit a casual air. One might think that short sleeves for a summer stroll would be more suited to such an outfit, but long sleeves are called for here, made from sarsnet or muslin. At least the artist has given our lady a parasol to keep off the sun, an accessory not called for in the outfit description.
Plate 10, an Evening Dress, has, like this month’s Walking Dress, a fairly high hem line, due in part to it being drawn up in festoons above the ankle, almost like a curtain or drapery. The gown is not only decorated about its hem, but also about its bodice, with “a quilling of blond lace on the back and continuing around over the shoulder to give the look of a stomacher. Beads and roses are “fancifully intermixed” on the bodice itself, outlining a central “pearl shell ornament” fixed in the bodice’s center. A shell native to England? Or one brought home from an exotic traveler to warmer shores?
No fabric samples this month, only an embroidery pattern of flowers and zig-zags that would look lovely as the border of a white summer shawl, don’t you think?
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