During the 1820s and 1830s women's dress took on a sense of romantic fantasy. Sleeves ballooned in shape, and skirts fanned out to emphasise a tiny waist. Hairstyles and headgear became equally exuberant, in contrast to the classical simplicity of the turn of the century. Decoration and trimmings reflected a nostalgia for the costume of the past, seen in stomacher-shaped bodices and 'vandyked' (zig-zag shaped) collars inspired by portraits from the seventeenth century.

This dress may well have been a wedding dress as it is so rich in detail and trimmings. White weddings were becoming widespread as a result of the fashion for muslin dresses. Before the 1800s most people wore coloured dresses to their marriage ceremony, which they continued to wear for special occasions long after the event.


  • Title: Dress
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1825/1834
  • Location: Great Britain
  • Provenance: Given by Mr Le Cocq
  • Medium: Cotton muslin with wool embroidery, silk satin and wadded rouleaux

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