L.L. Diamond

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How often are you reading a book and the author describes a Regency gown, only for you to scratch your head and wonder what they mean? We all have a basic knowledge of what a Regency gown looks like, but just like today, the trends changed a bit from year to year. I don’t know about you, but when I read a Regency romance, sometimes I have no idea what certain terms are or mean and I have to look them up. I thought today we’d have some fun with Regency fashion terms. I hope you enjoy 🙂

Let’s start with a couple of terms I use in Agony and Hope (Available on preorder here!):

Shot Sarsnet – A thin silk with a slight sheen woven with multiple colors, which gives it an iridescence. Sarsnet is also sometimes spelled sarcenet. Shot sarsnet was also sometimes called “shot silk.”

Mameluke Sleeves – Long sleeves divided into several puffs by thin ribbons or bands.

Detachable sleeves sound very modern, but were quite common in Regency times. A gown would have a detailed short sleeve with a sheer long-sleeve that attached over it. There is a lovely example on my Pinterst page for Agony and Hope here.

Sprigged Muslin – a lightweight white cotton embroidered or woven with a pattern.

Regency color palettes were rather specific and could change from year to year depending upon which colors were fashionable.

Primrose – pale yellow

Celestial blue – sky blue (also called Ethereal blue)

Cerulean blue – Azure blue

Pomona – Apple green

Heliotrope – A pink-purple hue, or lavender

I hope you enjoyed this little foray into fashion. I always enjoy finding new terms to better describe what’s in my head. Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Regency Fashion

  1. Glynis says:

    Loved this! Thank you! One of my favourite memories of Bath, (my daughter took Mum and I as a treat for my 60th birthday in 2011), was a visit to the fashion museum in the Assembly Rooms. 🥰🥰 It was absolutely fabulous, with so much information and we spent hours in there. It’s such a shame that the display is having to leave the Rooms and find somewhere else so may be unavailable for a few years 😢😢.
    While I’m not such a fan of the Mameluke sleeves the dresses themselves are beautiful.so many thanks for sharing. I may have to reread this when I get to read your book (that’s if I can see through the tears I’m sure I’ll be struggling with 🤔😉)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I went to the fashion museum. I wish they’d had more Regency gowns, but I did enjoy it. I also enjoyed the gowns in the Victoria and Albert museum. As for mameluke sleeves, I do like the purple gown (or should I say heliotrope?). I have a gown image in my head with them that I like. I’m not a huge fan of the white fashion plate. I saw a fashion plate with the shot sarsnet that I liked, but I wasn’t sure of where it came from and didn’t want copyright issues.

      Agony and Hope will be here soon! I promise it won’t just be tears 🙂 Thanks, Glynis!


  2. Jennifer Redlarczyk says:

    Love this post. I’m always looking for new ideas and pictures to stimulate my mind of the Regency era. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve found Regency Encyclopedia to be a great resource lately. I use their color palettes that are sorted by year, and some of these terms came from their fashion glossary. When I wanted to know what something looked like, I could do a Google search and images would come up. I still love Pinterest boards. That’s where I found the gown with the detachable sleeves. It was nice being more authentic in the descriptions. Thanks, Jen!


  3. lsantoroau says:

    Enlightening, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it. Thank you!


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