Thursday, November 3, 2011

Winter's around the corner!

The cold weather is almost upon us, so lets take a look at a few 18th century winter fashion pieces no stylish lady would be without!

Winter, by Francois Boucher, 1755

Some items a lady could have worn in colder weather: muffs, cloaks, hats and bonnets, quilted petticoats, gloves and mitts, and pattens for sloppy streets. Most of the above items were worn year round, except maybe the muffs. These items were made of different weight fabrics for the different seasons. Where you might have worn linen mitts in the summer to keep away from the sun, in the winter they might have been made of wool. Quilted petticoats were also worn year round. There are also examples of quilted jackets and waistcoats. For cold weather, extant cloaks are very often seen in plain red wool, especially in America. A lot of the pictures below show lovely fur-trimmed cloaks, which were probably more prevalent in higher classes. Muffs come in all kinds of mediums (fur, feathers, silk, satin...) and they tend to increase in size toward the end of the century. Portraits were also a common decoration for muffs. Pattens were worn over the shoes to protect them from whatever might be on the streets (water, mud, snow, slop...). And don't forget the ever-present fichu. Keep that décolleté warm! 

Below are some examples. Enjoy!

1770-1800 Feather and Fur Muff. Met Museum.

1785-1800 Muff with Mezzotint Portrait. MFA.

c. 1780, Embroidered, British. Met Museum.
Late 18th century pattens. Museum of London.

1750-1790. Black leather pattens with silk bows, Europe. Manchester.

Quilted petticoat and jacket. Possibly a brunswick.

1770-1800. Woman's riding hood, Massachusetts. MFA.

Mitts. Possibly velvet. Image from Resplendent Revolution.

Leather gloves. Image from Resplendent Revolution.

And some ladies in their winter finery...


1777. An ermine muff.

Madame Mole-Reymond, by Vigee le Brun, 1786

Lady Lavinia Spencer by Sir Joshua Spencer, 1781.



Mrs. Sarah Siddons, by Thomas Gainsborough, 1785

An example of a beaver hat.

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