France was the dictator of style during this period of costume history and even the English acknowledged their style. The English also began to recognize their taste for the country and this influenced their dress by introducing shade hats, kerchiefs and shorter skirts. Costume Elements to associate with this period are as follows: Wigs and powdered hair, porcelain-tinted complexions, long slender bodices and distended skirts, wide coat-tails, clocked silk stockings, red-heeled shoes, flowers, ribbons, and lace. Later in the period naturalness became the style and hair became unpowdered and women's hair became more natural.

The Georgian Period

As an architectural style, 'Georgian' refers to the period 1780-1830. As a period, it covers the years between 1714 and 1830, in other words the reigns of Kings George I, II, III and IV. France was the dictator of style during this period of costume history and even the English acknowledged their style. The English also began to recognize their taste for the country and this influenced their dress by introducing shade hats, kerchiefs and shorter skirts. Costume Elements to associate with this period are as follows: Wigs and powdered hair, porcelain-tinted complexions, long slender bodices and distended skirts, wide coat-tails, clocked silk stockings, red-heeled shoes, flowers, ribbons, and lace. Later in the period naturalness became the style and hair became unpowdered and women's hair became more natural.

Men used powder in their hair more than ever before making their wigs gray instead of white. Fashionable men wore “tie” wigs which means that all of the curls were tied at the back of the neck with black ribbon. Men wore shirts made of heavy muslin and were very full with a small turnover collar. Coats were high in the neck and collarless with buttons and buttonholes all the way down the front, however they were seldom all fastened. Vests were shorter than the last century and Breeches that reached the knee were made out of velvet. Most stockings were made out of heavy silk in a light color and hose were always woolen.

In the later period hair became unpowdered, and men were making wigs smaller and more conservative. The tricorne that men wore was changing to a smaller flatter type, and the uncocked beaver hat was becoming popular. Collars were added to coats, and the full skirted coat was old fashion. The popular coat became high-collared, short waisted, double breasted and cut square across the front with the skirt commencing at the hips. Breeches evolved to be a tad longer.

At the beginning of the Georgian period women wore wigs like the masculine periwig but with exaggerated double peaks. Often the hair lied at the shoulders in ringlets but not as dense as the men's styles. The hair was drawn back from the forehead and dears with Greek simplicity. Caps were no longer included in formal costume, but they were still worn in the middle classes. As the period continued women's hair grew to amazing proportions and it is said that hairdressers had to stand on ladders to dress their ladies hair. Toward the end of the period hair got shorter and wider until finally the natural mode became popular for hair.

Bodices were all made on the corset shape, which means the upper body was ideally slim, tight and long-waisted. Hoops returned to fashion again in 1710 and they made the skirts widely distended bells. The hoop evolved to large hoops up to six feet wide and then became slimmer in the later part of the period. Hoops grew to the back almost giving a bustle appearance to the dresses.

Colors for the early part of the period are delicate, flower-like colors and prints with roses, carnations and other blossoms on a light background abounded in the dress of ladies and gentlemen. Men wore velvet and satin in fine deep tones like black, brown, burgundy and dark blue too. Working men and women wore plainer darker colors.

Here is a link to some very good Books about the Georgian period

Outer Garments,

  • There were several different cuts and styles of ladies’ gowns during this period. The “Robe a l’Anglaise” (English gown, mantua) and “Robe a la Francaise” (French gown, sacque, sack back gown) were perhaps the two most common gown styles for most of the century though each went through a number of variations and adaptations.
    Ladies gowns were composed of several basic pieces. The bodice (aka “pair of bodies”) covered the back, shoulders, sides and left and right front. It was quite fitted. Sewn onto the bodice were fitted sleeves of about ¾ length which often sported fabric or lace flounces at their ends. In the front, center was worn the stomacher. This was a firm, stiff article which covered the stomach and lower bosom (styles tended to be low cut by modern standards) and attached to the bodice by means of pins, laces or hooks and eyes. A square piece of linen or cotton cloth known as a "fichu" was often folded and worn around the neckline for daywear.

    Undergarments

  • Stays (aka Corset):
    Thin or large, old or young, all ladies wore them and you cannot have an accurate 18th century look without one. The corset of the time was heavily boned and was tightly laced in the back for a serious fit. It was worn under the gown but over the chemise. It was conical in shape, completely unlike the “hourglass” corsets of the Victorian era a century later. The purpose of the corset was to create erect posture and to force the breasts up and together into a position known as “rising moons.” During this period (in contrast to the late 19th and early 20th centuries) for a fashionable woman to show much of her bosom (particularly with evening wear) was not generally considered to be sexual or even immodest. It was simply feminine; being a woman. But to reveal the ankles or legs was another matter entirely.

    Furniture

  • The term "Georgian" describes an architectural and decorative style that was dominant under the three King Georges, who reigned in England from 1714 to 1820. Those who embraced the Georgian style looked back to the classical Greek and Roman principles of proportion and symmetry and created furniture that was light, simple and elegant. Over the 106 years or so that the style was in favor, details of Georgian furniture often were also infused with more flamboyant touches from other styles, including Rococo, Chinese (called Chinoiserie) and Gothic. Sometimes the collision of all three influences can be seen in a single Georgian piece.

    Despite these stylistic additions, the Georgian look is usually uncluttered and sophisticated. This is especially true after the 1770s, when archeological digs in the Mediterranean region uncovered classical architecture and decorative arts that were then taken back to England. This classical look inspired leading designers to adopt simpler and cleaner lines. Wedgewood china is Georgian, as is the delicate furniture made by master designers such as Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite, whose books introduced American designers to the style.

    Georgian Jewelery

    Until modern times gemstones, diamonds and precious metals were very rare nad these materials were recycled into later styles of jewelry. For this reason very little early Georgian jewelry survived. Most Georgian jewelry available is from the later dates characterized by highly dimensional repouse. Floral and scroll motifs are typical of the period. Garnets, precious topaz, coral and early fully faceted diamonds set in silver were used.

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