Annotated Progression of Ladies Fashion, 1785 – 1820

Having just read Persuasion by Jane Austen, I’m particularly interested in the details of that era. Today at the library I was able to check out several non-fiction books about her and early 19th century historical details.

However, this post features selections from my own copy of John Peacock’s broad treatise on fashion history.

These illustrations only roughly represent her years. She lived from 1775 to 1817; the pictures are for fashions from 1785 to 1820. Since Miss Austen completed the rough draft of Persuasion in 1817, her stylish characters would’ve worn dresses from the last sketch below.

(Clicking on a picture will enlarge it.)

Also, please note that they are intended to show the progression and details of fashion development. I think it helps to see how styles can sometimes ease from one to another. Other times they change radically.

1785 - 1798

1798 - 1800

1800 - 1811

Regency 1811 - 1820

Sketches are from John Peacock’s book: Costume 1066 – 1966, A Complete Guide to English Costume Design and History (copyrighted 1986). Mr. Peacock was the senior costume designer for BBC Television when the book was printed.

The calligraphy is by Rachel Yallop.


Filed under 1700s, 1800s, Books, Clothing, Dresses (Including Formals), England, Ephemera, Fashion, Femininity, Hairstyles, Hats, History, Jane Austen, Shoes

7 responses to “Annotated Progression of Ladies Fashion, 1785 – 1820

  1. Geneva

    Did you ever wonder if you should have been a costume designer? Your eye for historical design is impeccable.

  2. Thanks, Geneva. Accurate historical details have always been an interest of mine. It’s fun to think about how a room would look for a certain year, or an outfit of clothing, or music, and so on.

  3. Pingback: Jane Austen Era Hats and Bonnets | carla-at-home

  4. Pingback: Progression of Regency Fashion in Jane Austen’s Adult Life | Jane Austen's World

  5. Really enjoyed studying these sketches, Carla. I hope you don’t mind but I posted a link to this on my Facebook page as I have a lot of friends who love everything Austen.

    • I don’t mind you posting a link, but thanks for asking. I appreciate the consideration.

      Maybe with cooler weather around the bend I’ll do some updates, especially on Jane Austen.

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

  6. Anneka Walker

    I want to let you know that I too am linking this blog post to my fb! Very cool!

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