This outfit is a very sophisticated traveling attire in German style. Well, most of the 1700s lady’s and gentleman’s costumes were rather noble-looking. But this clothing set is really special. It is called “Brunswick” or “Brunswick gown” in England and was introduced to British fashionistas by Princess Augusta. Just look at this hood – roomy but not oversized. Also, every part of the outfit is practical and comfy for traveling or walking outdoors.
So, let’s start!
As with all 18th-century women's dresses, the chemise was the garment worn next to the skin. It was made from linen, was washable, and was changed as frequently as possible.
The stockings came over the knee and had embroidery at the ankle known as “clocks”. The stockings were held in place by ribbon garters either above the knee or, more usually, below, especially when active.
No underdrawers were worn.
The rigid bone stays created the silhouette of the period. They were reinforced at the center front with a removable wooden busk, which was often carved with entwined lover's initials and dates.
The stays raised the bosom, gave the illusion of a narrow waist, and provided a smooth line for the garments worn over it.
They laced up at the back with a single lace.
When traveling, supporting items such as hip pads, bum rolls, hooped petticoats, or panniers were minimized or not worn at all.
A washable white linen underpetticoat completed the underlinens.
Pockets were an important means of carrying small personal items. They tied about the waist, close to the body and out of sight, and were accessed through openings in the petticoats.
A Marseille cloth petticoat provided warmth and support for the outer petticoat.
Marseille cloth was a new machine-woven textile, which mimicked hand-quilting. It was warm and perfect for traveling in a chilly carriage.
The habit shirt resembled the gentleman's shirt but was shorter and tied about the waist with a string.
There were several slightly different styles: some were completely open at the front and others went on over the head.
The cuffs were fastened with Dorset thread buttons.
The silk outer petticoat was lined with linen and closed at the back with tapes. It had slits at the sides to access the pockets and was made from the same fabric as the jacket.
The habit shirt was often closed at the throat with a ribbon.
The foresleeves of the traveling jacket were separate and were put on first. Once on the arm, they were quite secure, though they could be pinned or buttoned to the upper sleeve.
The traveling or German habit was an elegant out-of-doors garment. It was a hip-length jacket which buttoned up to the neck.
It had long two-part sleeves with the flounce at the elbow and had a hood.
It often, but not always, had a sack back with box pleats. It could either have a false front or a separate waistcoat.
The hooded traveling habit had been popular in Germany and other European countries from the mid-century. And it was popularized in England by the marriage of Princess Augusta to the Duke of Brunswick in 1764. Princess Augusta’s going-away dress was a scarlet silk traveling outfit of the German fashion, which became known as the “Brunswick”.