The Gallery of Fashion is one of the earliest and most popular fashion magazines from the regency period. For wealthy Regency women nothing was more important than dressing in the latest styles.
This magazine published monthly issues from 1794-1803 and kept women up to date with all the latest fashions and styles in both England and France. French fashion was very chic at the time however the on-going war with France meant that British magazines like this one tried to distance themselves from French Styles.
This image show's two morning dresses, they are simpler than the extravagant evening dresses that women wore for dinner parties and balls. White was a very fashionable colour at the time because it demonstrated wealth. White fabrics are much harder to keep clean so women who wore white showed that they had enough money to replace their dresses regularly and avoid dirt.
Things to think about:
- What do you think men's fashion was like at the time?
- Do you think fashion was as important to working class women as it was to wealthy women?
- Why not have a go at designing your own morning dress or mens outfit?
You can flick through the pages of The Gallery of Fashion on the British Library website.
The British Library also have a number of teaching resources relating to life in Georgian Britain on their website.
- The Georgian period has been described by historians as the ‘age of manufactures’, when British men and women gained access to a dizzying range of material things. Clothing and fashion was highly important to the wealthy. A single item of clothing often represented the most expensive item in a person’s possessions and new items of apparel were usually highly treasured. Woollen garments that were heavy and difficult to clean began to disappear gradually after the first half of the century. These were replaced by cheaper printed cotton fabrics, that were first imported from India and then later manufactured in the expanding British textile trade in the north of England. Cotton clothes allowed ordinary men and women a greater choice of light and colourful clothing that was durable, easily washed and therefore more hygienic for the wearer. Increasingly, from the late 1600s, men of all classes wore the familiar dress of the three-piece suit: breeches, a waistcoat and long coat. This was all set off with a ruffled shirt, stockings and shoes with buckles. For women, a bodice, petticoat and skirt were usual. Cheaper fabrics were printed with floral or patterned designs, though expensive items were made of silk and either embroidered or quilted. Hats remained in fashion for both sexes: tri-corn ‘cocked’ hats were usually worn by men, while women wore caps over which were tied wide-brimmed straw bonnets. The Gallery of Fashion is one of the earliest fashion magazines, and among the most famous of the Regency period. It was published in monthly issues from 1794 to 1803.
- The Gallery of Fashion is one of the earliest and most popular fashion magazines from the regency period. For wealthy Regency women nothing was more important than dressing in the latest styles.