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!