In the British history, there was a so-called “Georgian era”, named after the kings George I, George II, George III, and George IV. Actually, this period lasted from 1714 to about 1830-37. But today, we’ll talk about the 1760-1780s and the women’s fashion of these years. What did British females wear during this period? Which silhouette was considered the best? What accessories did they use? And, of course, what hooped supports, panniers, bum pads, or padding did women wear?
Georgian fashions relied on different layers and supports to create fashionable silhouettes. All of them needed boned stays for bust support and creating the fashionable flat front with a high bosom. Most skirt styles required either hooped supports, pocket panniers, or hip/bum pads to achieve the required shape.
Let us see what’s underneath this 1770 robe francaise.
Linen chemise, stockings, and shoes go first.
Please, note that, originally, a wig would be put on last – though, you can see it here already on the head, from the very beginning.
Stays go next: a well-fitted pair would be a very comfortable garment to wear, with only slight waist reduction – hip padding or panniers provided the illusion of a small waist.
Lacing could take some time – most stays were spiral laced, usually at the back, but front- and back-laced stays were also in evidence.
If padding or hoops were worn, the pockets would be worn separately. They were often lovingly embroidered items.
Petticoat next. In winter, petticoats would be made in heavier fabrics (wool, flannel, etc.). They could be padded and quilted for warmth, too.
Pocket hoops! Basically, huge pockets with cane hoops. They will easily fit a spare neckerchief, gloves, fan, and a sewing kit. When empty, they fold flat – so it is actually not a big deal to fit in narrow doors in these. Others – not so much.
Top petticoat (skirt) is next.
The petticoat is open at the sides allowing the wearer to reach to the pockets.
And the robe. This one has a buttoned front (comperes front). It could be also laced or pinned over a stomacher.
There was often a lacing at the back lining, under the top fabric, allowing for fit adjustment.
Dressing up did not take particularly long, though makeup and sorting up the wig could take some time.
The other woman – a helper – is wearing a simpler, upper middle-class outfit. It includes a quilted skirt on hip pads and a short jacket.
Another robe francaise worn with a very elaborate wig.
And one more robe francaise laced over the stomacher.
Some styles didn’t require hoops – robe anglaise was much more streamlined, worn with pads instead.
1780-90 Pierrot jacket and petticoat – no hoops, just hip and bum padding used.
And riding habits would only use just padding at most – it would be rather tricky to wear more in a saddle.