Discusses the cleaning of garments in the eighteenth century, with emphasis on evidence from Scottish inventories.
Extracts from Letters From Bath by the Reverend John Penrose, 1766-1767 (eds. Brigitte Mitchell and Hubert Penrose) on the subject of dress. The letters in the book were written to the six children left at home in Cornwall while the Reverend Penrose went to Bath to have his gout treated. The letters record the reaction of an educated, simple, and forthright man to the diversions, absurdities, and materialism of Bath. Given that the appearance of a clergyman, and of his family, was a matter of importance, and given the numerous Cornish visitors to Bath, it appears that Mrs Penrose decided that the Reverend’s clothes, and even her own, were perhaps not quite sufficiently ‘decent’. Therefore, sensible and economical shopping was undertaken to reestablish an appearance suitable for a clergyman’s family in comparison with those fashionable ‘Others’ so widespread in Bath.
Transcript of a list of clothing c.1580-1610.
A brief report of a lecture given in Denmark by the author on a black satin petticoat of about 1615-20 in the National Museum, Copenhagen.
Includes discussion of some items of dress associated with National Trust properties: Erddig, Lanhydrock, Kedleston, Snowshill, Killerton, Gawthorpe Hall.
Considers how men combated the cold in the eighteenth century and illustrates this with examples from the wardrobes of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Coutts.
Covers a wide timespan from the Middle Ages to the present day. Does not aim to present a comprehensive chronology, but examines the meanings of dress in a cultural context and interprets distinctions of class, gender, sexuality, nationality.
Is there a peculiarly English ‘look’ and if so how does one define it? With chapters authored by leading scholars in the fields of costume history, social history and cultural studies, this book examines the ways in which fashion and dress might be considered in the context of national identities as they apply in England. An overview is presented of how particular designers and consumer groups have striven to present or contest versions of Englishness through clothing from the 18th through to the 21st centuries.
Uses evidence provided by the account books of the Petre family to examine what was worn by a daughter, from ages twelve to sixteen, of the rising gentry in the mid-sixteenth century. An appendix gives transcriptions from the accounts. The article also includes a glossary.
Includes many extracts from inventories and accounts, and an appendix transcribing a probate inventory of 1720.
A re-written, updated and enlarged edition of Children’s Costume in England by Phillis Cunningham and Anne Buck (1965).
The writer discusses clothing and textiles mentioned in the volume of 166 probate inventories of 1617-20 published by the Bedfordshire Historical Record Society in Bedfordshire, England, in 1938. The volume was a pioneer work in the detailed study of probate inventories, particularly those of people of lesser rank – husbandmen, yeomen, artisans, and laborers. The inventories show textiles and clothes in people’s homes, along with other household possessions, often recorded room by room as they were when the owner died; those completed with details of clothing bring more clearly to the mind’s eye the men and women who were living and working in Bedfordshire in the early 17th century. The writer discusses the range of clothes recorded in the inventories, including items of men’s and women’s clothing, details of fabric and color, examples of household linen, evidence for spinning and weaving within such households, and evidence for the making and buying of clothes at this time.
Discusses the history of underwear from the late fifteenth century to the end of the twentieth century.
Considers evidence relating to tartan from the sixteenth through to the twentieth century.
Translated from French into English by Deke Dusinberre.
Mary Edwards’s eccentric taste in fashion is examined in the context of her life and her close relationship with William Hogarth. This wealthy woman first shared her life and fortune with Lord Anne Hamilton, with whom she had a son, but in May 1734, she took steps to disassociate herself and her estate from him. She spent the remaining nine years of her life overseeing the management of her estates and the upbringing of her son, encouraging Hogarth and other emerging artists, and spending enormous sums on clothing and jewelry. Hogarth’s conversation piece ‘The Edwards Hamilton Family’ and the portrait ‘Miss Mary Edwards’, which were completed almost a decade apart, reveal a dramatic change in Edwards’s dress and deportment during that time, as the mannered pose and unremarkable attire of the former work give no hint of the vast wealth and independent spirit that dominate the latter. The works show that independence gave Edwards the cash as well as the confidence to dress as extravagantly as she pleased. Moreover, the painting ‘Taste in High Life’, which she commissioned from Hogarth in 1742 in response to jibes about her own eccentric style of dress, shows that she was notorious enough to be the subject of satire and sufficiently bold to respond to her critics.
A frequent visitor to Paris and an intimate of Marie-Antoinette, Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, was a crucial link between French and English fashion at a time in history when each country relied upon the other for inspiration and innovation. Georgiana was one of England’s primary tastemakers, serving not only to invent fashions, but also to inspire them. The true key to her sartorial success, however, was her privileged access to French fashions. Like Marie-Antoinette, she patronized celebrated marchande de modes Rose Bertin, who was nicknamed France’s ‘Minister of Fashion’. The duchess was instrumental in carrying actual French fashions, as well as news of the latest trends, from Paris to England. It is arguable that she was not so much a leader of English fashion as a prominent follower of French fashion. In turn, she helped to establish a fashion for English and Anglophile styles in France.
Considers the evidence provided by the records of infants who had been sent by the Foundling Hospital to wet nurses in Berkshire between 1741 and 1760. The evidence comprises clothing lists and fabric samples. Extracts from the clothing lists are included in this article.
An analysis of the Day Book 1692-1703 of Edward Clarke of Chipley, Somerset (1650-1710), MP for Taunton, reveals evidence of his expenses on clothes for his children. He also describes where the family shopped and who did the shopping, what materials were used and what they cost, who made the clothes and whether clothes were refurbished. The article uses the correspondence of Edward and his wife Mary to show how fashion and clothes were an enduring interest and subject of discussion in both town and country.
This article examines some of the purchases of personal clothing by Henry Temple, first Viscount Palmerston (1676-1757) recorded in his surviving account books, and goes on to discuss whether he could be said to have had separate town and country wardrobes. A version of this paper was presented at the Costume Society Symposium: ‘Town and Country Style’ in 2007 and is based on the author’s research for a doctoral thesis on the subject of Henry Temple’s personal papers at the Broadlands Estate.
Based on finds from excavations in the vaults of Christ Church, Spitalfields. Includes discussion of especially manufactured funerary textiles, as well as ordinary clothing found in coffins.
Includes chapters on the following: ‘The Sixteenth Century’, ‘The Seventeenth Century’, ‘1700-1770’, and ‘1770-1840’.
Discussion of Verney suits with skirted breeches.
A study of the clothing accounts of Martha Dodson, a wealthy widow of the gentry class in 18th-century England. Dodson’s household accounts from June 1746, when she was 62 years of age, and June 25, 1765, three months before her death at 81 years of age, show her purchases of fabric and clothing, which were mostly made in London; her informal and undress wear; her outdoor garments; her stays and shoes; and the alteration, repair, and upkeep of her clothes. They reveal the wardrobe of an older woman who respected the social customs of her class and balanced the acquisition of new goods with economy, and fashion awareness with decorum. Studied in conjunction with the accounts of other contemporary gentry families, they shed light on the choice of goods available, consumer preference, and the balance of new purchases with the alteration and repair of existing items.
Aimed primarily at those in the theatre. The first section discusses the management of certain types of garment (e.g. skirts and cloaks). The second section offers a history of costume with emphasis on the poise and posture adopted by the wearers.
Describes The Belfast Newsletter index project, then demonstrates its usefulness by focusing on a particular item of eighteenth-century dress (men’s ‘small clothes’).
Catalogue of the costume collection at the Museum of London.
Catalogue of the costume collection at the Museum of London.
Illustrated with photographs and a diagram of a 1730s mantua in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
An examination of rural clothing in Essex, England, in Elizabethan times, using evidence from wills. The wills used are from the periods 1571-77 and 1597-1603, and there are no gentry among the testators, most of whom were yeomen, husbandmen, tradesmen, craftsmen, laborers, and the widows of such men. The wills provide a general picture of people with two or three sets of clothes, one of which was set aside for best or for Sundays. These were made of the same few inexpensive but hard-wearing fabrics, mainly russet and frieze, with leather and canvas as well for men; good-quality wools seem to have been nearly as little worn as silk. Information on colors is sketchy, but red petticoats and brownish colors of russet must have marked much of the female costume, and anyone who could afford it had black for their best clothes. Most clothing was apparently plain and unadorned, with the fashionable ruffs barely mentioned, and only the very richest people owned anything with any kind of trimming or wore any jewelry.
‘A collection of the dresses of different nations, ancient and modern. Particularly old English dresses. After the designs of Holbein, Vandyke, Hollar, and others. With an account of the authorities … and some short historical remarks … to which are added the habits of the principal characters on the English stage …’
An investigation into the history and use of a ‘sackcloth’ gown as an instrument of ‘ecclesiastical discipline’ during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
The writer discusses the clothes provided to the poor under the communal welfare system in England from 1750 to 1840. Defining ‘the poor’ as those dependent on communal relief under the old poor law and the first decade of the new poor law, he examines brief case studies from various parts of the country. He argues that absolutely and in comparison to the wider populations, the poor on relief were ‘well clothed’ and that clothing the poor ‘well’ became one of the basic tasks of the communal welfare system, pointing out that the poor law was at places and at times, generous and sensitive to the relationship between actual and perceived poverty. He suggests that the poorest clothing was associated not with those who received communal relief but with the marginal poor who struggled to avoid dependency.
Comprehensive survey of European lace with over 600 monochrome plates.
Reprint with corrections, originally published in 1991.
References to funerary textiles throughout the text. Includes a chapter on shrouds and winding sheets.
Based on research for the author’s MA thesis, The Dress Inventories of the 2nd Duke and Duchess of Montagu, 1749 and 1747. Includes an Appendix comprising a transcription of ‘A List of Ye Wardrobe’.
Based on research for the author’s MA thesis, The Dress Inventories of the 2nd Duke and Duchess of Montagu, 1749 and 1747. Includes a Select Glossary, also an Appendix comprising a transcription of the ‘Inventory of Her Grace’s Things – 20 June 1747’.
Investigation of the development of specialized garments for the sport of foil fencing from the late sixteenth century to the First World War. Paper given at the Costume Society Symposium, Royal Armouries Museum, 2 July 1999.
In the second half of the eighteenth-century fashions were radically altered. The towering wigs and thick layers of face paint worn by the aristocracy and copied by the masses came under attack. Men and women were encouraged to adopt simpler styles of clothing and to rely only on their own natural traits. This shift away from artifice was espoused most strongly by enlightened philosophers, who advocated a social structure based on transparency and merit, rather than finery and blood. Cosmetic masks were an obvious sign of Old Regime corruption and needed to be erased. This paper looks at how this shift in fashion affected two prominent painters of the face: the libertine Casanova and the actress Mlle. Clairon. Their memoirs illustrate the complications that arose out of such an extreme shift in fashion. Though both led unrepresentative lives, their attempts to conciliate their own desires for artifice (for themselves and in the case of Casanova for his conquests) with the ascendancy of natural beauty, has resonance for the lives of other eighteenth-century coquettes and petit maîtres. Neither succeeded in eliminating the stigmas attached to old age and primping, but they did succeed in painting themselves as vibrant, enthusiasts of a youthful, natural Enlightenment, despite visible traces of rouge.
The writer discusses the clothing of Margaret, Parnell, and Millicent Crayforde from 1569 to 1575. The probate accounts of Edward Crayforde, gent of Great Mongeham in Kent, England, offer information relating to the provision of clothing for his three orphaned daughters. One of these accounts consists almost entirely of monies paid for their clothing for the period 1569 to 1575 until each girl, in turn, reached the age of 18. This detailed clothing information is of particular interest as it relates to a period covered by frequent sumptuary legislation, which aimed to stipulate the types of fabrics and trimmings that could be worn by members of each level of society. The writer examines in detail the clothing of the Crayforde girls in the order that they would have been dressed, as well as discussing hose, shoes, and other accessories. She concludes, among other things, that the type of outfits made for the three sisters, particularly Millicent, suggests that they had considerable pretensions to fashion.
Monochrome plates and useful descriptions of costume from contemporary sources.
Monochrome plates of items in the collection at Claydon House, near Aylesbury.
Discussion of satin doublet at Hever Castle, Kent.
The article offers an introduction to the subject of dress in ideal societies. Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) is considered and other literary works from the sixteenth to the twentieth century are discussed.
A revised enlarged edition of the original publication of 1984.
The Stuart period is particularly rich in the variety of dress among the wealthier classes, ranging from the complex, sometimes ‘metaphysical’ clothing of the Jacobean elite and the romance of Arcadia at the court of Charles I to the influence of Puritan moral and religious discourses, the extravagance of Restoration fashion and new concepts of gentility and modernity in the early eighteenth century. Relatively few garments survive from before the eighteenth century, and the history of costume in the preceding centuries therefore has to rely to a great extent on literary and visual evidence. This book examines Stuart England through the mirror of dress. It argues that both artistic and literary sources can be read and decoded for information on dress and on the way it was perceived in a period of immense political, social and cultural change. Focusing on the rich visual culture of the age, including portraits, engravings, fashion plates and sculpture, and on the many and varied literary sources – poetry, drama, essays, sermons – the author creates an account of Stuart dress and reveals the ways in it reflects and influences society. Supported by a wide range of images, she outlines the main narrative of clothing, as well as exploring such themes as court costumes, the masque, fanciful and ‘romantic’ concepts, the ways in which political and religious ideologies could be expressed in dress, and the importance of London as a fashion centre.
The writer discusses early-17th-century English embroidered jackets. She focuses on a jacket worn by Margaret Laton for a portrait and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which features an embroidery pattern consisting of a scrolling vine arrayed with flowers, fruit, birds, and insects.
The writer examines a previously unknown, enormous painting that depicts a crowd of Londoners watching the ceremonial arrival of the Prince de Ligne in 1660. She explains that the painting, which still hangs in the Chateau of Beloeil, the Belgian home of the De Ligne family, records the scene on Tower Wharf as the prince arrived to convey the congratulations of Philip IV of Spain to the newly reinstated Charles II. She asserts that this hitherto unrecognized major work provides a unique view of London in the years before the Great Fire, and may also prove to be the most important known source of information relating to English contemporary dress at the Restoration. Discussing the artist’s identity, she suggests that it is the work of Brussels artist Francois Duchatel. She argues that, both as a social document and as a topographical record, the painting is clearly a unique, eyewitness account.
Discussion of the provision of clothing for a poor parishioner who was admitted to the Royal Bethlehem Hospital in the mid 17th century.
The writer discusses London parishes’ provision of clothing for the poor between 1630 and 1680. Using parish records and other documents, she shows the various forms of relief given by parish vestries to the poor; the type of apparel provided for men, women, and children; the sums spent by both richer and poorer parishes; and some of the citywide institutions that cared for orphans and foundling children.
Provides details of how stays pattern pieces were designed to produce the cone-like shape, including change over the course of the century.
Covers the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Discusses a mid-eighteenth-century dress acquired by the Museum of London, with particular focus on the design and technique of its embroidery.
Discusses textiles discovered during excavations in London.
A discussion of the clothes worn by Samuel Pepys from 1660 onwards. On June 27, 1660, Pepys had been promoted to the post of Clerk of Acts, that is Secretary, to the Navy Board. Launching himself into this new life, Pepys was initially prudent in his spending. He occasionally replenished his wardrobe, acquiring new shirts, hats, gloves and caps, but his spending was modest. The writer goes on to quote extensively from Pepys’s diary on topics such as his silk suit, velvet coat made for the coronation of Charles II in April 1661, his decision to wear a muff in November 1662, and his uncertainty as to whether he should wear a wig or not.
Tailors’ bills and purchases of materials from household accounts of the Stiffkey Bacons for 1587-97.
The writer discusses the issue of servants’ clothing in 18th-century England. In the opinion of the elite at this time, no group of workers was more guilty of sartorial extravagance than servants, primarily female household servants. Historians have generally endorsed these opinions, but some have argued that it does not necessarily follow that servants contributed directly to an expansion in the overall demand for clothes, as their access to expensive fashions was only made possible by hand-me-downs from their employers. The writer goes on to examine the evidence of the records of Robert Heaton, a Yorkshire worsted manufacturer and small landowner in the later 18th century. He asserts that, if Heaton’s servants were representative, most female servants bought not only cheap everyday clothes but also decorative and stylish items, without having to rely on hand-me-downs. He concludes that female servants at this time thus comprised a financially circumscribed but huge and free-spending market for new and fashionable clothing.
Retrieves the story of ordinary consumers in eighteenth-century England and what they wore. This book reveals that ownership of new fabrics and new fashions was not confined to the rich. It extended far down the social scale to the small farmers, day labourers, and petty tradespeople who formed a majority of the population.
This paper examines the nature of the textiles known as fustians, originally imported but later manufactured in England. The focus is on eighteenth-century England when fustians underwent further development into modern cloth types. Evidence of the use of fustians for men’s dress, and the status of those who wore them, is explored to shed further light on the developments leading up to the association of fustian with working-class men. The paper is based on a presentation delivered at the Costume Society Symposium: ‘Town and Country Style’ in 2007.
This is an information pack produced to accompany a workshop held on 1 November 2007, but intended to have a life beyond the workshop. The notes take the form of twenty catalogued examples that illustrate dating points gained from research in the literature and archives of calico printing. The booklet is now available online.
Includes a detailed account of the re-installation of the costume galleries at the National Museums of Scotland.
The author discusses the error of confusing mid-seventeenth-century petticoat breeches with a kilt.
Outlines the full range of current academic approaches to dress history, from object-centred research, to study based on oral history, art history, ethnography, the use of literature, photographs and film, material culture and cultural studies methods.
A study of the historiography of dress and of dress collections in a museum context.
Clothing occupied a very particular place in 17th-century English culture. At that time, dress awareness was not limited to middle- and upper-class women but equally–if not more so–to men. Clothing became a key determinant of economic identity, as sartorial state was repeatedly described by those who sought to make their pecuniary position clear. The way an individual dressed had therefore the potential power to determine placement in the social ranking while also potentially affecting the expression of personality and even producing forms of differently gendered behavior. Analysis of the circulation of clothing clarifies the effects of gifted garments on the relationship between the giver and the recipient, and an examination of gloves illustrates the variety of meanings that could adhere to a specific item of clothing.
29 pages of plates, 42 cutting diagrams and 27 tailor’s patterns.
71 pages of plates, 75 cutting diagrams and 54 tailor’s patterns.
Includes a discussion of the evidence offered by household accounts and probate inventories.
This is a revised edition of the author’s 1987 Ph.D thesis. The first section covers the rise and decline of the industry from the late sixteenth century to 1940; the second section considers the people involved in the industry (manufacturers, lace-makers, designers, and retailers). Illustrated with numerous monochrome plates.