Pittsburgh-Bicentennial-FeatureIt wasn’t a very big city, to be sure; less than 6,000 residents, but still there were balls and plenty of coming-out parties to attend. Then, there was church. What would you wear?

We’ve been looking at 1816, the year Pittsburgh got big enough to become a city

Thanks to the Internet and the popularity of Regency Era romantic books and movies, 1816 fashions are at least as available now as they were then.

Ready-made clothing only started to appear just before 1816. Sorry ladies that was just for men.

Most everyone knew how to sew,  but they got a tailor or seamstress to make the best outfits. You can still get those patterns on the Internet.

If you’re a man, you can do it the modern way —  buy ready-made. Like the outfit below.

 

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DO YOU WANT TO BE HIM? The coat will cost you about $300, the hat about $100. All told, you’re looking at about $900 to become a Regency Period count complete with pocket watch and cane. Just click on photo for details and other outfits.

Remember It Was Chilly

If you want to dress just like it was 1816, you better think shawls and jackets. There was no summer that year because of a volcanic eruption on the other side of the world.

Women wore short jackets that barely extended past their high-waisted dresses. Want to know what they wore under it?  The previous post tells all.

Samples of typical Regency gowns are below. Hair was worn up with tendrils cascading down to complement the relaxed style.

 

You can get either of these dresses on eBay for only $6.49. Of course, you have to make it yourself or pay someone. And, you have to supply the fabric. But, they will send the pattern. Just click on the photo for details or to see other styles.

You can get either of these dresses on eBay for only $6.49. Of course, you have to make it yourself or pay someone. And, you have to supply the fabric. But, they will send the pattern. Just click on the photo for details or to see other styles.

 

Cyber Seamstresses

You can get custom-made gowns online, but the selection is not good. An example is below:

 

You can get this custom-made formal gown for $223. That doesn't include the hat (and everyone wore big hats) or the opera gloves. Click on photo to get details.

This formal gown, made to the measurements you send, goes for $223. That doesn’t include the hat or the opera gloves. Click on photo to get details.

 

 A Heads Up

Pittsburghers were several inches shorter than they are today. But you might not notice. They all wore tall hats.

They weren’t always going to formal affairs, particularly in a small frontier city. What follows is artist renderings of people in everyday situations.

Painting of girl embroidering, by Georg Friedrich Kersting. Note the apron. I don't know the significance of the decorated portrait. If anyone knows, fill in the rest of us.

Girl embroidering by Danish painter Georg Friedrich Kersting. Note the apron. I don’t know the significance of the decorated portrait. If anyone does, fill in the rest of us.

This woman is not reading her iPad. It is something they called a book. The experts in historical fashion say she would have gone out shopping in this attire.

This woman is not reading her iPad. It is something they called a book. Experts in historical fashion say she would have gone out shopping in this attire. Lacy pantaloons such as in this wood engraving typically covered the legs where the dress did not. She might change her hat, literally. Everyone had bows, flowers, and  bobbles to redesign their hats to suit the occasion.

 

A gentleman relaxing at home in his dining room. Note the backless slippers. The well-dressed maid likely wore the same outfit the day before, and the day before that.

A gentleman eating in his dining room. Note the backless slippers. The coat worn indoors reflects the reality of no central heating. The well-dressed maid likely wore the same outfit the day before, and the day before that. She may well have lowered the average height of 19th Century Americans on her own.

 

Wrapped in Myth and Historical Lies 

1809-Lafureurdescorsets

 

The past will always be misconceived, but little as much as the corset.

A symbol of sexuality and the lengths to which vain women will go, it intrigues modern society.

Most of the stories actually come from later in the Victorian Era, a half century after Pittsburgh became a city. We believe tales of women who tight-laced down to thirteen inches. and died in the attempt. We are told women surgically removed their lower ribs to attain a smaller waist.

Nonsense. You’ll enjoy seeing the myths debunked  here.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:

It is called the Regency Era because of who was running the United Kingdom. A regent is appointed monarch because the real king or queen is too young or too incapacitated to do much more than wear the crown. The King George we know from the Revolutionary War got old and mentally incapable. His son, another George, was appointed regent in 1810 until the king died in 1820. Then he was king and the Regency Era was technically over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally posted 2016-04-20 09:41:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter