Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Georgian Period of Fashion 1714-1811

The richly decorated gowns worn by wealthy Georgian women were often adorned with an "eschelle stomacher" (a fancy corset designed to be worn in public and adorned with bows of decreasing size) above the waistline and an embroidered and trimmed petticoat below. Ladies' skirts were supported by wide hoops made of cane or rattan, and sometimes laid over quilted under-petticoats. Under the hoops and corset, ladies wore "shifts" (knee-length undergarments with elbow-length sleeves adorned with a froth of lace). Properly dressed ladies also wore stockings gathered at the knee and made from rich silk fabrics with woven patterns or embroidered motifs, and high-heeled shoes covered with silk to match the gown. Women's tresses of this period were gathered and piled high, with wildly enormous hairstyles emerging near the turn of the century. In addition, elaborate and often frivolous caps were fashionable.
Men of the period dressed plainly for sports and country life, but adorned themselves in high fashion at court. Their suits were made from rich velvets, silks and satins, and decorated with braid, embroidery, and buttons of gold, silver, and jewels.

A gentleman's suit consisted of a long and flared coat, sleeveless waistcoast, shirt adorned with lace ruffles at the wrists and neck, and knee breeches. Men also wore silk stockings with embroidered designs at the ankles and high-heeled shoes. A cravat made of soft fabric and tied at the neck or a stiff neckcloth buckled at the back completed a properly dressed gentleman's outfit. Men's hair of the period was worn shoulder-length and tied at the neck, or powdered with tight curls. Powdering hair consisted of applying a sticky substance and flour dyed in brown, gray, white, blue or pink! Men also wore wigs for formal occasions. In addition to powdering hair, fashionable men of the period applied makeup (pale powder, rouge, and lip color), as well as carried fans and embroidered silk handkerchiefs drenched with perfume. Michelle

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