Monday, April 18, 2011

1830 Fancy Dress Mystery

This is an 1830 La Belle Assemblee fashion plate. It clearly states that these are fancy dress outfits (and indeed, I would believe nothing else). BUT WHAT ARE THEY? Gosh, I wish I knew. What do you think?


  1. Neat! I think the one on the left is a sailor of some kind and the one on the right might be some kind of spanish folk costume?

  2. After staring at them for a minute or two, I also think something naval (that jacket has to be something military), and something folk-ish. The folk/regional girl has some nice long braids hanging down!

    I'd love to hear a definitive answer on these. I assume they needed no explanation at the time.

  3. Drum roll....

    Fancy Ball Dress
    --A Lady in Sailor's Costume
    --Costume of a Swiss Peasant

    [It occurred to me that I could look up the text of the Belle Assemblee edition.]

    I do love how posh a "peasant" becomes in a costume, just like all those shepherdesses would too.