The Royal Lady's Magazine

March 1831


       Nothing is more elegant for a carriage dress, than a hat of pensee velvet;the brim, the smallest that we have yet seen, is wide across the forehead, short at the ears, and a little larger on the left side than the right: it is lined with the same material, and trimmed on the inside with white blonde lace, one half of which, set on full and rather narrow, is arranged in the cap style; the remainder of the lace forms a round rosette on the opposite side, in the centre of which is a knot of pensee and white figured riband, cut to resemble foliage. The crown is low, of round shape, and higher in the centre than at the edges; it is ornamented with a drapery of the same material, edged with blonde lace, and placed in a bias direction; this drapery is terminated at the bottom of the crown on each side, by knots of cut riband; an ostrich feather to correspond in colour with the hat, issues from a fold in the drapery on the left side, and falls back over the crown.
       The mantle is of satin to correspond with the hat; it is not so wide as they are generally made, but sufficiently so to hang gracefully round the figure; the collar, which stands out from the neck, is shaped exactly like a shell, and the cape, nearly, but not quite so deep as they have hitherto been worn, is cut in the same form. It is lined with rose-coloured sarsenet, and trimmed with velvet to correspond with the satin. the trimming is arranged in separate pieces, resembling cocks'-combs, lightly fluted, and laid partly one over the other.
       Silk aprons, fashioned exactly after those worn in Fiance by servant-maids of all work, have been, during some time, a part of ladies' home-dress; they are about to be superseded by others of a different shape; shorter, narrower at the waist than the bottom, without pockets and having the bib part composed only of broad riband, which crosses in the centre of the bust in front; the ceinture of riband to correspond, fastens in the middle of the waist before in a short full bow. Six or eight satin pipings, one the colour of the apron, and another of a different colour, placed alternately, form the trimming.
       A new and very graceful style of morning dress is something between a French peignoir, and an English pelisse gown; the corsage is full, the fulness so arranged in front as to form light loose folds across the bosom, which are much more becoming than the former ones so long in fashion. The collar is very deep, and falls back from the throat over the shoulders. The sleeve is confined halfway up the arm, by three bands arranged in festoons. The skirt is closed before, and has no trimming; but the collar and the wristband-the latter is about two inches in breadth-are finished by velvet scallops. Morning dresses are generally of gros de Naples. We have, however, seen one or two of Cachemere, trimmed with velvet, which had a much more elegant effect. If there is a paucity of materials for deshabille, there certainly is none for half-dress, or evening dress. Velvet, satin, and different kinds of rich silk are worn in both, as well as a variety of gauzes, crapes, &c., generally worn over satin, and confined exclusively to evening dress.
       Gowns for evening parties are cut rather lower round the busts, and shorter in the skirts, than is exactly accordant with our old-fashioned ideas of delicacy. We saw the other day, a chemisette, composed of blonde lace, admirably calculated for evening dress, made high enough to shield, without entirely concealing, the bosom; it was trimmed in the mantilla style, with a double fall of blonde lace.
       One of the evening dresses that we consider most likely to be adopted in high circles, is composed of either gauze or crape, over satin; the body of the satin dress is cut square, and falls low in the shoulder; the corsage of the other dress is closed about half as high as the satin one; the lapel turns back in points. which descend nearly to the waist, and correspond with those on the shoulders; it is cut in sharp irregular notches, they are bordered by narrow blonde lace of a very light pattern, set on extremely full, which produces a singular, but pretty effect. A band, similarly cut, turns up over the bottom of the beret sleeve, and the skirt is finished at the hem with a trimming to correspond in form, but considerably larger.
       Among the novelties that will be introduced in millinery, is a dress-hat; the crown is white satin, the brim, blonde lace, disposed in full flutings, and turned up something in the turban style. Two very light sprigs of flowers, placed at the bottom of the crown, cross each other, and droop towards the brim on each side.
       The wreaths of blond lace intermixed with flowers, which are fashionable under the name of caps, have a light effect, but are too voluminous to be becoming; a head-dress of blond lace, looped down in scallops at some distance from each other; the spaces are filled with delicate flowers. Rose-colour, bright ruby, French grey, lilac, pea-green, azure blue, and a beautiful new shade of citron, are the most fashionable colours.

Parisian Fashions

       A few lovely days have induced several of our elegantes to throw aside, at least for the moment, their winter dresses, and appear in the promenades in a demi saison costume. One of the prettiest of these, is a redingote of lavender gros de Naples; the corsage, made a schall, reached nearly to the throat in front, and was deep enough behind to form a pelerine. A very light rouleau of swansdown bordered the corsage and the fronts of the dress, the sleeves were made to sit close at the lower part of the arm; the upper part, quite as large as usual, fell en bouffant, considerably below the elbow; the bottom of the sleeve was bordered by a rouleau of swansdown.
       The hat worn with this dress appears to me one of the most novel of the month; it is of rose-coloured plush, the shape of the crown resembles a jockey's cap, the brim is something less than the usual size. A bouquet of cut ribands decorates the right side of the crown; it is placed near the top, and a large rosette also of cut riband is put far back on the left side, partly on the brim, and partly on the crown. The half-season style is, however, but partially adopted. We still see furred mantles and velvet pelisses; the most novel of the latter are made with very large pelerines, forming points on the shoulders, and a fichu before. One of the most elegant pelisses that I have lately seen in the Tuileries Gardens, was of granite-coloured velvet, made in this manner. The hat worn with it was of azure blue velours epingle with a crown a six pans; that is, with a drapery arranged in a particular form, and smaller at the bottom than the top. A single white ostrich feather played over the brim, which was ornamented on the inside with coques of white gauze riband, made to imitate blonde lace.
       Merinos and gros de Naples are in favour in home dress, particularly the latter. Collerettes of muslin, disposed in large plaits;or else cravats of velvet or satin are always worn in deshabille, to which caps are also a necessary appendage.
       With the exception of a few superb dresses, embroidered in gold or silver, for grand balls, evening dress is rather distinguished by simple elegance than splendour. gowns composed of printed mousselines de soie, or of Donna Maria gauze, with a corsage draped in the Grecian style; a waist of an easy and natural length; long sleeves which, though still large, are not quite so wide as those worn in the beginning of the winter; a skirt, neither too wide nor too narrow, but falling in easy graceful folds, with a hem not much more than half the usual depth. Such, with the headdresses I am about to describe, is the style of evening dress for concerts, social balls and conversaziones.
       Small crape hats, either white, rose-coloured, citron, or amethyst, trimmed with two feathers falling upon the crown, or crape berets with a plain crown, the brim turned up by a satin riband, the end of which is fastened on one side.
       If the coiffure is en cheveux, it should be ornamented with flowers; if it is composed of a single flower, it must surmount the bows of hair, and b e placed little on one side; a rose, acactus, or a dahlia, with the buds and foliage, are equally proper. If there are different flowers, they must be small, arranged in a chaperon, and surround the base of the bows of hair. The chaperon resembles a small crown, it should be composed of sprigs of flowers.
       Dresses for bals pares, are of crape, tulle, and a different kind of gauze, embroidered or figured in gold or silver. I shall cite a few that may serve as models to your fair readers, premising that they are among the most elegant of those that appeared at the late Court balls, and at that very superb one given by the English ambassador.
       A dress of rose-coloured gauze, spotted with silver; the corsage en schall before and behind, and open on the shoulders; these four lappels are very large, and bordered by an effile of burnished silver: they form mancherons upon the shoulders. Sleeves en bouffantes, ornamented with knots of silver gauze ribands, edged with the same light kind of silver fringe that trims the corsage. The head-dress is a wreath of silver epis intermixed with small roses.
       A dress of rose-coloured tulle, the corsage drape, the drapery fixed in the centre of the bosom by a diamond agraffe. A double fall of blond lace, arranged en mantille, went around the back and shoulders; the trimming of the skirt was composed of white feathers arranged in festoons. The coiffure was a bandeau of diamonds, and a wreath formed of small white feathers placed in an oblique direction, and terminating by a gerbe of diamonds.
       A crape dress of tulle, of that shade of colour called bleu-Adelaide, the corsage plain, and cut very low, trimmed with blonde lace. Beret sleeves covered with blonde lace. The trimming was an embroidery, above the hem, of a wreath of pinks, with large buds and foliage; the whole in silver, except that the heart of each pink was marked by a little rose-coloured point. The hair was dressed in three high bows and two braids-one of the latter was brought very high on the left side. A wreath of pinks, arranged with singular grace, formed the only ornament of the coiffure.
       Granite, violet, dark green, and lavender, are the most fashionable colours for promenade dress and negligee. Lie de Vin clair, a favourite colour of the Queen; bleu-Adelaide, and rose de Parnasse, so often worn by, and so becoming to, the young princesses, are the modish colors for soirees white is also very much worn. Adieu.

Opera Dress

       1. A dress of plain chaly, the colour is Swedish blue, corsage a revers, the revers cut in light festoons' it is embroidered in silk of corresponding colour; long sleeves of gaze de Soie, A light embroidery, to correspond with that on the bust, goes round the upper edge of the hem. The turban is of ruby velvet, of a graceful shape, something higher and not quite so large as usual: it is ornamented with a gold bandeau which traverses one side, and an aigrette placed behind. A bandeau, corresponding with that on the turban, encircles the forehead. The mantle is of ruby velvet, with a collar, pelerine, and trimming of ermine. Ear-rings, and bracelets of gold, beautifully chased.

Dinner Dress

       2. A white satin dress, the corsage a la Grecque, is bordered with a rouleau of lilac satin. Blonde lace sleeves, a l'Imbecille, over berets of white satin; they are surmounted by mancherons, ornamented by a rouleau to correspond with that on the corsage. A rouleau of the same material also borders the skirt. Head-dress, a chapeau beret of crimson satin. The crown is of the helmet shape, and very low, the shape of the brim is a half circle, it turns up all round and shows the jewelled bandeau worn underneath. A bouquet of white ostrich feathers falls in one direction over the brim. The ear-rings, &c. of or mat. The scarf is white and gold-coloured gauze.

Carriage Dress

       3. A high dress of violet gros de Naples, finished round the border with two rows of pointed trimming of the same material. The pelerine is of green velvet, bordered by a rouleau of swansdown. Green velvet hat, trimmed with white ostrich feathers

Ball Dress

       4. A dress of white gaze de Soie, over white satin; the corsage en demi coeur, is cut low, and with a little fulness at the bottom of the waist' short and very full sleeve. formed into a double bouffant by a large knot of lilac gauze riband, which loops it nearly to the shoulder. A light embroidery of detached sprigs of lilac adorns the bottom of the skirt. A band and two noeuds of lilac riband are placed in a bias direction on one side, and a rouleau surmounts the embroidery. The hair is dressed in the Chinese fashion, but not high, and adorned with a plume of lilac feathers, placed on the summit of the head, and a gold comb. The necklace, ear-rings, and ceinture buckle, gold and pearls.

Second Ball Dress

       5. A dress of bird of Paradise coloured crape over satin to correspond. Corsage en coeur cut rather high, the lappel forming points on the shoulders. Very short beret sleeve. The trimming of the skirt is French-grey gauze riband, arranged in a flat wreath of foliage, which is traversed by a row of leaves the colour of the dress. The hair is arranged in full curls at the sides of the face, and low round bows on the summit of the head. Knots of the tulip shape, composed of cut riband, are intermixed with the bows. Ear-rings and necklace of burnished gold.

Full Dress

       6. A rose-coloured velvet dress, corsage a la Sevigne, cut square, rather high, and bordered with narrow blonde lace, which stands up round the bust. Long sleeve of gaze de Paris, over a white satin undersleeve; it is confined just above the elbow by a band an knot of rose-coloured riband; the lower part, which sites close to the arm, is ornamented by rose-coloured bands placed in demi losange, from the wrist to the elbow;the epaulettes are points of rose-coloured velvet, edged with blonde lace. Ceinture of figured velvet; a single rouleau of a deeper shade than the dress, borders the hem. Rose-coloured velvet hat; the crown is low, and of a melon shape, the brim is ornamented on the inside with white blonde lace, arranged en etoile. Ostrich feathers drooping in different directions adorn the crown. Ear-ring, et cetera, pearls.

Opera Dress

       A white satin dress, the corsage cur high in the centre of the bosom, but low on the shoulders and behind; it is ornamented en revers with blond lace at the sides and round the back of the bust, the centre of which is trimmed with a ruche a la neige, of blond net. Short beret sleeve covered with a triple row of blond lace, which falls very low. The outer dress is an open pelisse-robe of crimson velvet, lined with blue satin; it is made en peignoir, except that it has short loose sleeves. The beret, composed of lavender bloom-coloured velvet, is placed very far back upon the head, and ornamented with two white ostrich feathers, one placed at the bottom of the crown, the other under the brim.

Evening Dress

       A white satin dress, the corsage cut low and square, is ornamented with a fold of satin, open on the shoulders, rather deep behind, and lightly festooned in the centre of the bosom by a bouquet of flower; beret sleeves, finished en manchette, with blond lace, arranged so as to fall in a point below the elbow. The ceinture is a band of or mat, fastened by a burnished gold buckle. The skirt is trimmed round the border with festoons of gold fringe, the point of each festoon us adorned with a bouquet of wild flowers mixed with ears of gold corn. The hair is very much divided on the forehead, and dressed in full curls at the sides of the face: it is arranged in two round bows on the summit of the hear, and a soft braid, which is twisted round the bows. A light bouquet of flowers is inserted in the braid, and a gold comb is placed behind. Pearl ear-rings; gold neck-chain.

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