Regency Talk 2021

I presented my Regency Talk for Middlesbrough Teesside Women’s Institute last Saturday at St Marys Centre in Middlesbrough. After a couple of years of postponements due to the current health crisis it was wonderful to be presenting my events again.

I included my display of Regency Gowns –underwear, morning dress, afternoon dress, evening gown and my sparkling Empress Josephine outfit. I also included a couple my new garments – a fabulous pink ornate spencer and bonnet inspired by the outfit worn by Anya Taylor-Joy in the latest film version of Emma. Emma wore it in the scene where she attends the wedding of her old governess.

The ladies really enjoyed my talk, and I was happy to include a question-and-answer session at the end.
Please find below a couple of the questions and my answers – I thought you might be interested to read them –

What types of Regency gloves were worn?

Different types of gloves were worn for different occasions. Gloves were worn usually white in colour or mainly pale shades. Usually in fine kidskin or leather – sometimes in silk or cotton for the evening. Short gloves to be worn during the day with long over the elbow gloves for evening events – hence the very short sleeves of evening dresses.

The sleeves of day dresses could be longer as the gloves were shorter. Ladies only removed their gloves when eating and laid their gloves neatly on their laps until the meal was over. They also wore fingerless gloves called mittens when sewing or doing fine work as it is impossible to sew when wearing gloves with fingers. The mittens worn indoors were usually knitted or crocheted. It was very important that hands were covered during this period!

Did Regency ladies wear coats, how did they keep warm?

Regency ladies wore mainly a Spencer jacket from 1790 to 1830 which was popular as long as the waistline remined high – it could be designed in fine wool – kerseymere or velvet plus silk for the evening. Jane Austen stated, “My Kerseymere Spencer is the comfort of my evening walks!”. I designed my red velvet spencer with military touches as braiding and frogging was popular during this period.

Ladies could also wear a Pelisse which was a version of the spencer which fell to full length or knee length and fastened at the front. It was high waisted and usually had a belt – it could be fur trimmed and have a broad cape.
They also wore a Redingote which was a ladies version of a gentleman’s riding coat. It could be trimmed with fur and was ankle length with long sleeves and high on the neck. The redingote was usually in dark colours and could have capes on the shoulder.

Shawls, capes, capelets and full-length cloaks were also worn to keep ladies warm outside.

I really enjoyed the event and the ladies made me very welcome. I am looking forward to presenting my next event which is my Tudor Talk and Costume Display early in 2022!

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