1813 Walking Dress

For walking dresses of this period, the stomacher was back in style, often made buttoning or lacing up the back. Necks were high and topped with triple rows of lace, while sleeves were long and often tied in three places with colored ribbons. Frilled hems and buttoning pocket holes in dress skirts were commonly seen as well. A wrapper shaped much like a night chemise, called a "Circassian Wrapper" was trimmed with a narrow flounce and white brocaded ribbon at the waist. The bodice was low and of lace, fitted to the bosom. Set-in sleeves were made of alternating strips of muslin and lace. Walking dresses were in shades of light yellow, Pomona green, or white. Muslins, bombazines, lutestrings and merino were common materials used for dressmaking in 1813.

Low necks in both round and V style were all the rage for eveningwear. Double falls of lace trimmed necklines, but the more exposed the breast, the better. Gowns were strapless with full shoulder sleeves in melon-form or slashed. Skirt hems were often embroidered in a leaf pattern or edged in a single row of puffing. Lace aprons were worn over dinner dresses, and the more lace on a dress, the better. One style of evening dress was named for Princess Charlotte, and featured a crepe bodice (often in pink) which laced up the front.

The "Corset Frock" was another design which was done in colored crepe or net, and was shaped with a short corset bodice, three white satin gores on each side of the bust, and laced up the back. It had short sleeves edged with floss silk, and often was embroidered in spangles. Other evening gowns featured tunic dresses of various colors which stopped roughly 10 inches above the bottom skirt hem. A favorite combination of colors was orange and pink, and materials used most often were white or colored crepes over satin slips and bodices, velvet, satin, satin cloth, sarcenet, and jacconet muslin.

As in previous years, spencers, pelisses, cloaks and shawls were worn, in much the same design as 1812. Sandals were all the rage, as were evening slippers of white satin and silver rosettes, worn with white stockings. Lemon, stone, or lilac colored kid dominated walking gloves, and for jewelry, pearl and pink cornelians were in. Small painted ivory fans, decorated with flowers, accompanied ladies in vogue.

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