Regency women’s clothing

Jo here, talking about clothing again. The reason is that I'm in the process of e-pubbing the early Company of Rogues books, and it's really hard to find good period images in stock photography. People are doing photo shoots for covers, but the clothes are rarely right — if they're on at all! The images used by mainstream publishers are rarely any more authentic.

The women usually look more authentic than the men because a high waisted gown is easier to find than accurate men's clothing. However, my search and some on line discussions has made me aware of how limited our vision of the Regency look is. Almost always it's a slender high-waisted dress with short puff sleeves and little trimming or lushness in the fabric. We wouldn't think one style correct for today, and it wasn't back then.

So here's a collection of genuine Regency images. (You can click on any to enlarge.)

You'll see that in general they are very full, not slim fitting like a '60s empire waist dress.

18183ladies Note that short sleeves aren't essential.

181mulrd Note the layers and trimming. For any sort of special occasion the look is complex.

1801cmyr This is a simple dress from early in the 19th century,but again it's full and with detail around the shoulders.

 This grouping shows the variety, but also the love or ornamentation and accessories.








1814, and slim fitting, but classical simplicity? I don't think so! Sometimes I have to remind myself that fashion images don't always reflect what real people wear.



Beth This is German, which might make a difference, and from about 1818, when fashion was completely abandoning classical simplicity! But I like this one for Beth from An Unwilling Bride, because she looks a bit sadly overburdened with grandeur. I gave it to the publishers as a general idea, and they did use it in a way.

 So I'm just saying that it would be great if the C5277w An Unwilling Bride first edition front covergowns used for photo shoots of any kind had a lot more fabric in them, and a lot more trimming.

Which look is most Regency to you?

Which do you prefer?

If you could buy it off the shelf, which would you choose to wear to a Regency event?

I'll give a copy of An Unwilling Bride — the new version — to a randomly picked commenter.