Georgian Costume History
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.
Notable Georgian Costume Elements
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