1800 to 1810

The fashion canvas of the 18th century changed radically as the 19th century began and simpler, lighter brushstrokes were applied. Fashion in the first two decades mimicked classical Grecian drapery with its fluid lines. Bodices were minimal, cut to end under the bust thereby achieving a high waist that defined the silhouette. Necklines were predominantly low. Sleeves could be long or short.

The fiddle-back bodice, with side, back and shoulder seams that were placed to form a diamond shape, was typical of this period.

The use of tiny piping to finish seams began in this decade.

Dresses generally opened in the front, with pins or drawstrings as the closures, while the skirts of the dresses had side openings, if any at all. The desired effect was one of simplicity. White was the most popular color and any applied trimming was used sparingly.

Fabrics were lightweight, with embroidery and details that did not interrupt the aesthetic flow. Outerwear consisted of Spencer jackets (waist-length jackets named after Lord Spencer), pelisses (a type of sleeved cloak) and the ubiquitous long shawl.

Written by The Vintage Fashion Guild

Next 1810 to 1820
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1805-1809 silk gown - Courtesy of antiquetextile.com
1805-1809 silk gown
Courtesy of antiquetextile.com
 1807 silk dress - Courtesy  of vintagetextile.com
1807 silk dress
Courtesy of vintagetextile.com
1810-1812 cotton neoclassic gown - Courtesy of vintagetextile.com
1810-1812 cotton neoclassic gown
Courtesy of vintagetextile.com

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