Oddly, since 1814 was known as the “year without a summer” in England, both ladies in October’s fashion plates are wearing sandals with their walking costumes. One hopes that their stockings were thick enough to keep their poor toes warm!
Both dresses also feature handkerchiefs of net used as sashes tied around the bodice, the first “crossed over the bottom and tied in bows behind,” the second “tied in streams and small bows behind.” The handkerchief in Plate 19 almost makes the lady appear to be wearing a bandolier, although nothing else about her appearance evokes a military air. The checks of the handkerchief in Plate 20 give the wearer a countrified air to my eye, although linking checked fabric with the country may be an association that dates to later than the Regency period.
As in one of last month’s plates, this month also seems to feature a color mismatch between plate and description. The dress in plate 20 is described as “evening primrose-coloured,” but looks to be almost the same shade of “celestial blue” as the gown in plate 19.
Plate 19 is described as a “Promenade dress,” while plate 20 is labeled “Walking Dress.” I wonder if Regency readers would have know the differences between the two?
Flowing elliptically-petaled flowers and leaves are featured in this month’s needle-work pattern, along with small dots along the edge. Smaller floating flowers appear above the main flowers, giving the feel of fall seeds floating in the wind.
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