Home Academics Vita Philosophy Portfolio Resources         

Egyptian ] Greek ] Roman ] Romanesque/Byzantine ] Gothic ] Renaissance ] Elizabethan ] Cavalier/Puritan ] Restoration ] [ Georgian ] Directoire ] Romantic ] Crinoline ] Bustle ] Gay '90's ] Edwardian ]

Back Next

DATES: 1700-1790 A.D.
bulletEarly Georgian 1700-1750
bulletLate Georgian 1750-1790
bulletEngland Losses American Colonies 1776
bulletGarrick Dies 1779


bulletPAINTERS: (EARLY) Hogarth, Watteau, Boucher,Piquard, Fragonard, (LATE), Gainesborough, Reynolds, Goya, Peal


bulletHandbook of English Costume in the 18th Century - Cunnington
bulletHistorie du Costume en France - Quicherat
bulletThe Quaker, A Study in Costume - Gummere
bulletThe Eighteenth Century- LaCroix
bulletModes and Manners - von Boehne


bulletThe Begar's Opera - Gay
bulletThe London Merchant- Lillo
bulletShe Stoop To Conquer- Goldsmith
bulletThe Rivals - Sheridan
bulletOur Country's Good- Wertenbaker
bulletSchool For Scandal - Sheridan
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
Queue—A long pigtail or ponytail that men would wear on the back of the neck with their own hair or with their wig.
Shepherdess Hat—A hat worn by fashionable women that resembled a shepardess hat. It was referring to the romantic life of the country.
Plastron—The highly decorated front of the corset.  
Mob Cap—Large cap with soft, full crown and wide brim which almost hid the face; usually trimmed with ribbon bands and loops; known in England and therefore not restricted to use in the French Revolution.  
Watteau Gown—The principle style of the Regency, named after Watteau the painter. The original Watteau gown was a loose sack or dress, worn over a tight bodice and very full underskirt. The loose folds falling from the shoulders in back became part of the skirt. The front of the gown varied in design, either hanging loose or fitted at the waist, worn closed or open, and, if open, revealing a bodice and underskirt. The elbow-length sleeves had vertical pleats and soft, wide cuffs. In the 1740's a pagoda-shaped sleeve developed, tight from shoulder to elbow where it spread into flaring ruffles headed by ribbon bows.  
Fall Front Breeches—Breeches with a buttoned front flap.  
Great Coat—This coat usually came below the knee and was loose-fitting. It was cut in four parts and seamed beneath the arms and had a seam down the back, but was without a waist seam. The skirt was flared and had a back slit.  
Pompadour—The large hair-do associated with the French court and often had birds or toys placed in it.  
Panniers—These baskets to hold out the skirt returned in 1717 by way of England to France, where they had already been in fashion for six or seven years under the name of the hoop skirt, but did not become really popular in France until 1730. The hoops were of reed or whalebone, held together with ribbons, basketlike (panier means basket in French). The frame work was covered with a taffeta or brocade hoop. The hoop was first funnel-shaped, but from 1730s to 1740s grew very broad at the sides and flat front and back.
Ruching—Long pieces of fabric cut with pinking shears gathered and attached to the clothing like lace and ruffles. It was a type of inexpensive decoration.

horizontal rule

This page is the property of Scott R. Robinson and may not reflect the opinions of CWU nor any of its departments
Material on this web site may be used for educational purposed, if this footer is included.  
Grateful appreciation is extended for all the links that assist in sharing this information with my classes.
All Rights Reserved  2000 - 2010