Category Archives: Apparel & Grooming

Aspects of Clothing and Personal Appearance

Oral Hygiene During the Regency

"The toothpowder genius has some sort of hold over her," Penelope said. Chapter 8,   The Double Wager By Mary Balogh This is one of my favorite lines, from one of my favorite traditional Regency romances, in which the heroine’s … Continue reading

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Goldwork Embroidery Through the Regency

As we approach the shortest days of the year, it is only natural for humans to find ways to increase the light available in their environment. Though no one knows when it was first used, one of those methods was … Continue reading

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After "Cotton" Was Wool

Though cotton has been woven into textiles in some parts of the world since ancient times, it was just coming into its own in Regency England. By that time, new inventions had made it possible to mechanize many of the … Continue reading

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The Hairbrush Through the Regency

Archaeological evidence suggests that the hairbrush has existed in one form or another since early pre-historic times. Today, one can find dozens of them, in all shapes, styles and colors, on racks at any number of stores and shops, in … Continue reading

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Of Fausses Montres, or Dummy Watches

Curious as it may seem, there was a fashion in England for wearing fake or dummy watches which began in the late eighteenth century and that fashion contined into the latter half of the nineteenth century. There were quite a … Continue reading

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Moss Agates:   Pictures and Power

Despite their name, there was actually no moss within these lovely and fascinating semi-precious gemstones. However, it was not until the latter half of the nineteenth century that the true make-up of these stones was fully understood. Therefore, our Regency … Continue reading

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Aigrettes Through the Regency

Aigrettes were delicate and elegant tufted ornaments which had been in use in multiple forms in various parts of the world from at least the Middle Ages. They went in and out of fashion over the centuries, as they came … Continue reading

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Ackermann’s Repository:   Patterns of British Manufacture

One of the most popular publications intended for ladies of the upper classes during the Regency was familiarly known as Ackermann’s Repository. Those who have perused copies of this publication today may have noted that some of the issues include … Continue reading

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The Dorset Button

Not only did Dorset buttons hold a wide array of garments together, these tiny works of needle art also helped to hold together many families in Dorsetshire, right through the decade of the Regency. Though this type of button originated … Continue reading

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Feathers in Regency Fashion

During the Regency, feathers were often used as fashionable adornments, just as they had been for millenia. But unlike the feather wearers of previous centuries, by the Regency, it was almost only women who arrayed themselves in feathers. Rather ironic, … Continue reading

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Remodelling in the Family Jewel Box

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the holiday devoted to love, a discussion of a practice common during the Regency, which many women took as proof of the love and respect of their betrothed or their husband. And yet, today, such … Continue reading

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Merino:   The Silk of Wool

Today, the finest wool there is is that from Merino sheep. Such had been the case from the late Middle Ages right into the Regency. But for centuries, that particular breed of sheep was closely held in Spain and could … Continue reading

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Regency Bicentennial:   "Flowering" in Ayrshire

Though it was certainly not his intention, by abdicating the throne of France in April of 1814, Naploeon Bonaparte set in train a series of events which would make it possible for thousands of women in southwestern Scotland to earn … Continue reading

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The Regency:   On the Cusp of Cuff Links

As with so many other things which have been discussed here, with regard to a new kind of men’s, and occasionally, women’s, clothing accessory, the term cuff link was just coming into use during the Regency. However, that garment accessory … Continue reading

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When Chicken-Skin Wasn’t

"… He drew from his pocket a fan of dainty-chicken-skin, and spread it open. … Hugh frowned upon the Duke’s fan. … " Scene between Justin, Duke of Avon and Hugh Davenant Chapter Eight These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer … Continue reading

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The Regency Way of Death:   Mourning Rings

Last week, I wrote about the customs which governed women’s attendance at funerals during the Regency. As noted in that article, the majority of upper-class Anglican women did not attend funerals in the early nineteenth century. Some scholars of English … Continue reading

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The Rise of the Paper Hats

Today, paper hats are most often worn for a bit of fun at parties, or are made for a child by parent or grandparent for some make-believe playtime. But during the Regency, paper hats were regularly worn by working men … Continue reading

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