Glossary of 18th Century Costume Terminology

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The purpose of this page is twofold: First, to define vocabulary—to define 18th c. words which are now unfamiliar, and to correctly define non-18th century words which are frequently misused with respect to the 18th century (compare 18th c. equipage to non-18th c. chatelaine). Second, to illustrate the particular form of the objects these words referred to (see bonnet and fan) and/or how the objects were used (see pin). The focus of this page is costume of Britain and British-influenced areas (such as its American colonies), with a lesser focus on France and New France, and occasional other examples where British or French examples are lacking. It isn't my intent to focus on women's costume, but I have a greater personal interest in it so men's and children's clothing entries will come along more slowly.

Please note: Vocabulary in the 18th century varied quite widely from region to region and from year to year. You may find these words used in other ways in original documents.

Except where noted otherwise, definitions describe the 18th century use of words.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

apron A woman's apron was generally a rectangle gathered to a narrow tape or a narrow self-fabric band, with apron strings of tape, sometimes tying in back but often long enough to wrap around the back and tie in front. Anglo children and Continental women and children often wore aprons with bibs, but Anglo (British or American) women nearly never wore bib aprons until the very tail end of the 18th century. Although aprons were generally rectangular, bib aprons were sometimes made with a skirt shaped to fit a bib with a bottom point, and fancy aprons were sometimes made to dip at the waist so as not to obscure the gown bodice. Although checked fabrics were not much used for most garments, they were quite common for working women's aprons. A man's apron was generally triangular with a hole at the top that could be buttoned onto the top waistcoat button and wraparound ties at the waist. Men's aprons were generally of leather for protection, or of white fabric.

Women's aprons:

Men's aprons:

Children's aprons:

B

bag Men used a variety of bags including wallets. Women used workbags, knotting bags, and plain "bags". It is difficult to find pictorial documentation of the more ordinary sorts of bags. Game bags:

banyan An undress robe worn by men. The banyan was cut in two basic variations: an unfitted version somewhat like a kimono or modern bathrobe, and a fitted version which somewhat resembled a man's coat only with full length, loose skirts. The banyan was typically worn by gentlemen relaxing at home and was worn over shirt, waistcoat, and breeches, usually with a cap to cover the head in lieu of a wig. Circumstances in which a man would be seen in a public area a banyan were limited. Examples:

bearskin 1) The skin of bears (genus Ursus). 2) A particular sort of thick, shaggy woolen fabric.

bed gown, less frequently spelled bed-gown and bedgown A woman's informal, loose-fitting, typically thigh-length garment, with sleeves and skirts cut in one with the body, side seams at the natural side, pleated or shaped fullness at the hip, a pleat or two at center back usually held in place only at the neck, and often a V-neckline in front. Fancier versions could be worn in very informal circumstances by the higher classes (e.g., in one's boudoir), but it was primarily a garment of the lower classes, who wore it as ordinary daily clothing. Toward the end of the 18th century, the bed gown was gradually superseded by the short gown, at least in the American colonies / United States. Examples:

bib A piece attached to some aprons to cover or decorate the front of the torso. The bib was generally wider at the top than at the bottom, where it joined the skirt of the apron; sometimes the tapering was quite extreme, so that the bib served little to protect the clothing. Most English and French children's aprons had bibs. Bibs were quite common on French women's aprons as well, but were extremely rare on Englishwomen's aprons.

bodice 1) (18c) rare Stays. Usually written "a pair of bodies". May also refer to a garment which resembles stays but whose exact nature is not made clear by 18th century sources; perhaps packthread stays. 2) (modern; uncommon in 18c) The part of a woman's fitted garment which covers the torso above the waist. 3) (modern) A woman's fitted garment which covers primarily the torso; that is, a garment which is not a gown. 4) (modern) A sleeveless bodice.

bonnet Generally, a headcovering for women with an unstiffened crown (caul?) and a stiff brim going part way around the crown. Possibly the crown was sometimes stiffened or the brim went all the way around, but this would have been unusual, at least. Black silk seems to have been the most common fabric (used for the caul and to cover the brim), but other colors and fabrics are cited less often. You can find many examples in The Catchpenny Prints: 163 Popular Engravings from the Eighteenth Century, originally published by Bowles and Carver, Dover Publications, Inc., New York, 1970. On-line examples:

breeches The standard main lower body garment for men in the 18th century, with alternatives being petticoat breeches, primarily for sailors, and trousers, for lower class men but spreading to other groups toward the end of the century. Breeches were typically made of woven fabric, with leather (esp. for hunting) and (rarely) knit fabric as alternatives. Fitted clothing generally became tighter as the century progressed, with skin-tight legs being the fashion for breeches for most of the century. To allow the wearer to sit or bend over, breeches were cut loose in the seat; this unsightly bagginess was generally covered by the coat and only revealed by those laboring so hard that they removed their coat, or by men dressed in very lower class garments such as jackets. Examples:

bridles See kissing strings.

broadcloth 1) (18c) Woolen fabric woven on a double-wide loom. Standard loom width was between around 20 and 30 inches wide, so broadcloth was twice that. 2) (modern) Cheap, ordinary fabric, typically 45 inches wide, typically in a fine, tight weave of cotton, poly-cotton, or polyester.

brunswick A 3/4 length traveling garment cut more or less like a jacket, but with a hood and with separate upper and lower sleeves. See also jesuit. Examples:

buttons, thread Buttons made of thread, typically by making buttonhole stitches over a ring of thread or over a thin metal ring, with a thread shank.

C

calash A hood that folds up in accordian pleats like the hood of a calash (or calèche) carriage. It is supported with whalebone or cane hoops. Calashes were useful for protecting the high hairstyles of the 1770s from the elements.

cameo Very uncommon in the 18th century until the neoclassical period at the end of the century. Miniatures were much more commonly worn (among the sort of people who had jewelry at all, that is, of course). Example:

cardinal A type of . Cardinals were presumably originally named for their cardinal red color, but they could be colors besides red as shown by, e.g., a runaway ad from the Pennsylvania Gazette, May 27, 1762, item #28676: "RUN AWAY …: Had on …A black Silk Cardinal Cloak, lined with Silk, and has Gimp on it, …".

cane Utilitarian item for those who needed it. Also a gentlemen's fashion accessory, and less frequently, a lady's fashion accessory.

cap A headcovering, usually of unstiffened fabric with a crown and usually with a brim which goes only part way around the crown.

A woman's cap is made of white fabric, almost always linen, or, rarely, for upper class, black (probably silk). It generally has a comparatively large crown, or caul, constructed in one piece, and a narrow brim (sometimes cut in two pieces), and the brim is usually edged with a ruffle.

A working man's cap is generally plain fabric with the bottom turned up to form a brim all the way around, or knitted. An upper class man may wear a cap (which could be called a "night cap") as "undress" when he is not wearing his wig. A man's cap is generally made in one of three styles: in four quarters sewn together like a modern baseball cap but with a brim turned up all around (often with the top edge of the brim shaped decoratively) (this is how working men's caps are made, without decoratively shaped brims), in a tube (a rectangle with two opposite sides seamed together) cinched together near the top with a ribbon or some such and with a brim turned up at the bottom, or a turban form.

A baby's cap usually has a deep brim and a small caul shaped via darts and is sometimes embroidered in colors. A child's cap (prepubescent girl or, occasionally, unbreeched boy) is generally like a woman's cap but is sometimes embroidered in colors; also, young girls (late toddler through teens or so) often wear a cap with a small, fairly flat caul (but larger than a pinner), very narrow or non-existent band covered by ribbon, and narrow ruffle; also, young upper class girls (esp. toddlers) sometimes wear a very fancy, much trimmed cap whose construction is difficult to determine under so much trim.

Examples:

Mixed:
Women's:
Men's and boys':
Children's:
Babies':

caraco 1) (18c) French word for "jacket", sometimes used in English, and possibly sometimes applied to particular styles of jacket. 2) (modern) Woman's jacket made of shaped panels, closely fitted in the upper body and flaring in the skirts, and often having no seaming at the waist; that is, a style of jacket similar to the jacket labeled "caraco" in Patterns of Fashion 1: Englishwomen's Dresses and their Construction, c. 1660-1860 (Janet Arnold, New York : Drama Book Specialists, 1972, ISBN 0-89676-026-X. London : MacMillan, 1972).

casaque French word for a woman's early 18c loose jacket that is a short version of a robe battante and an early version of a pet-en-l'air.

Several servant women in second quarter 18c paintings by Chardin wear what is either a simple version of a casaque or a version of a bed gown with a fold over the shoulder.

chatelaine 19th c. See equipage.

checked Often spelled "check'd" or "chack". Evenly checked fabric. Checked fabrics, using small checks of up to about 1/4″ were very commonly used for utilitarian garments which could be expected to wear out frequently, including aprons, handkerchiefs, linings, sometimes shirts and trousers, and were very rarely used for other garments. Larger checks were used for furnishings. See also crossbarred and tartan (1).

chemise French word for a man's shirt or woman's shift. This word was not used by English speakers to mean a woman's shift until well after the American Revolution.

chemise à la reine Translates as "shift in the style of the queen". Muslin gown fitted by means of gathering at the neckline, the (sometimes high) waist, at the ends of the sleeves, and at one or more points along the sleeves. Despite the name, this garment was not a shift (chemise). The origins are unclear; it may (or may not) have developed from Creole dress, and Marie Antoinette is attributed as having said she and her court ladies were wearing it informally for some time before the (in)famous eponymous portrait was painted (see first example below). Examples:

cloak Cut in a half circle pattern (women or occasionally men) or full circle pattern (men), with or without cape(s), collar, and/or hood. Regular cloaks usually fall around mid-calf so as not to drag in the mud. Short cloaks may be as short as waist length; fancy short cloaks in silk or fur may have shaped hems (see mantle). For women, the usual fastener is a tie at the neck. Examples:

closed gown Any gown which is not an open gown, whether a round gown or other style.

cloth 1) Name applied to various types of woolen fabric including broadcloth (see broadcloth (1)) and other similar fabrics. 2) (modern) Synonym of "fabric". 3) A particular color, as in "one old quilted petticoat, a cloth coloured cloth ditto" (The Pennsylvania Gazette, February 19, 1777, item #60523), "Mens wash, tan leather, cloth coloured, crimson, purple and white lamb gloves; womens flowered, purple, white grained and white glaized, and cloth coloured lamb gloves and mitts" (The Pennsylvania Gazette, January 1, 1767, item #39486), "Buff, blue, green, cloth coloured and white Plush, Green, scarlet, blue and cloth coloured fine Plush [...] Cinnamon, dove colour, black and cloth coloured, blue, changeable, clouded & striped Mantuas" (The Pennsylvania Gazette, April 10, 1782, item #67214), "dyes leather any sort of cloth colour" (The Pennsylvania Gazette, March 11, 1756, item #19312). As for what color it referred to, some sort of natural wool color seems most likely. The above PA Gazette quotes show that it was considered distinct from white, buff, and dove color (as well as crimson, purple, blue, green, scarlet, cinnamon, and black).

compère Variation on a stomacher which buttons down the center front like a man's waistcoat. Can be stitched to the gown at both sides under the gown's robings, or can be a false compère with buttons but no center front opening and which is pinned or laced to the gown like a normal stomacher. Examples:

coat 1) A man's coat; generally, a dress coat. 2) Short for petticoat.

coral A baby's combined rattle and teething toy, made from coral or other materials.

corset French word for stays or jumps or something. This word was not used in English before the close of the 18th century (the OED's first citation dates to 1795).

corset blanc French word for a woman's undergarment which is devoid ("blank") of bones. The most probable English translation is "jumps" or perhaps "waistcoat" (see waistcoat (2)). Jean-Baptiste Greuze painted a number of moderately titillating paintings of partially clothed girls which give some good details of the construction of shifts and other underclothing, although somewhat less information on how such clothing was actually worn (since Greuze's subjects often are not only missing their outerwear, but have their underwear half falling off as well). The context of Greuze's art should be kept firmly in mind when using his work as documentation of clothing. Examples of corsets blancs in Greuze's work:

cotton 1) Cotton. 2) Wool of a particular sort of weave.

crossbarred Often spelled "crossbar'd", "cross barred", &c. Patterned with an open check pattern, with lines or stripes of colors surrounding larger blocks of color; in modern terms this would be called a plaid (see plaid (3) and tartan (1)) or a windowpane check. Checked fabrics were very commonly used for utilitarian garments which could be expected to wear out frequently, including aprons, handkerchiefs, linings, sometimes shirts and trousers, and were very rarely used for other garments. Crossbarred fabrics, while not common for any use, appear to be one step up from checks, as they were apparently used for common gowns as much as any other fabric. Crossbarred silks were a class apart (pun intended); they were made with far more complex weaves and were a high-fashion fabric, although again, not an especially common one.

Artifacts:

Art:

  • Horemans, Jan Jozef, the Younger. The Marriage Contract, 1768. Rockox House, Antwerp, Belgium. On the Web at the Artchive and at the Web Gallery of Art. Crossbarred silk sack gown with matching petticoat on mother (presumably) at left.

    cuff Fashions in cuffs changed throughout the century. During the third quarter of the eighteenth century in particular, the fashion for women's gowns and jackets was largely for shaped sleeve flounces rather than cuffs, although cuffs were still used on less fashionable gowns. Examples (also, search for "cuff" throughout this webpage):

    D

    death's head button A thread-covered button with the threads wrapped in a particular four-quartered pattern. Other patterns are possible but much less common. The origin of the term is obscure. Death's head buttons were extremely common on good-quality civilian men's coats.

    • Perronneau, Jean-Baptiste (French). Le graveur Gabriel Huquier, c. 1747. On the Web at Insecula. Death's head buttons on coat and waistcoat. They are not very clear in the portrait, but are a good example of what shading to look for to distinguish death's head buttons from common self-fabric-covered buttons in art.

    domino A loose, voluminous overgarment, fastening down the front, typically worn to masquerades.

    doll Often, a fashion doll. Fashion dolls were used to disseminate the latest fashions, and were not children's toys, although children may have been allowed to play with them once they had served their usefulness.

    dressing table A lady's table, generally covered in fabric (such as lace) and with a mirror standing on it.

    • Van Loo, Louis-Michel. Portrait du marquis de Marigny et de sa femme, 1769. On the Web at the Louvre Museum Database. Lace-covered dressing table.

    E

    earrings (I haven't checked whether "earrings" is the period term.) Examples:

    • Hone, Nathaniel (British, 1718-1784). Anne Gardiner with her Eldest Son Kirkman, 1776. On the Web at CGFA. Woman appears to wear simple gold loops in ears.

    engageantes or engageants Probably a French word rather than English. See sleeve ruffle.

    equipage 1) French for "equipment". 2) A fancy clip attached at the waist from which depend assorted sewing or other implements. Often called a "chatelaine" by reenactors but "chatelaine" is the 19th c. term for this item. Period advertisements list fancy equipages of gold, silver, etc. See also stay hook.

    • Hogarth, William. Miss Mary Edwards. English, 1740. On the Web at CFGA. Note equipage(?) with watch(?) and key, hanging from waist.
    • unknown (French), between 1700 and 1780. Two ladies, one holding a fan and the other a rose. Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle. On the Web at vads: the online resource for visual arts and at the Bowes Museum. Both women have watches hanging from equipages attached at their waists; the woman at the right may have two, large and very small.
    • Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, 1715, Town Eclogues: ...
      Behold this equipage, by Mathers wrought,
      With fifty guineas (a great penn'orth!) bought.
      See on the tooth-pick, Mars and Cupid strive;
      And both the struggling figures seem alive.
      Upon the bottom shines the queen's bright face;
      A myrtle foliage round the thimble case.
      Jove, Jove himself, does on the scissars shine;
      The metal, and the workmanship divine!

    Despite the popularity of "chatelaines" among reenactors, in period art you are more likely to see a scissors, pincushion, or watch attached with a plain ribbon.

    • Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon. Girl with Racket and Shuttlecock. French, 1740. On the Web at CGFA and at WebMuseum, Paris. Scissors and square pincushion each hang from a length of blue ribbon, possibly doubled. Large bow of ribbon appears at waist. Method of attaching ribbon(s) at waist is obscured by arm.
    • Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon. The Diligent Mother. French, 1740. On the Web at CGFA. Scissors hangs from length of ribbon, possibly doubled.
    • Walton, Henry (1746-1813). The Ballad Seller. Exhibited 1778. On the Web at the Tate Gallery. Pincushion (heart shaped?) hangs from ribbon and peeks out from under gown.
    • Hogarth, William. A Harlot's Progress, plate 1 of 6. 1732. On the Web at CGFA. The harlot-to-be has a scissors and rectangular pincushion hanging from her waist. The procuress has a pocket watch hanging from her waist.

    On the term "chatelaine":

    • Cummins, Genevieve E. & Nerylla D. Tauton. Chatelaines: Utility to Glorious Extravagance, Woodbridge, Suffolk (England); Antique Collectors' Club, 1994. "The 18th century witnessed the appearance, the acceptance and the glorious pinnacle of waist-hung watches and etuis. These are the superb examples to be seen in the leading museums in the world... Extensive research of 18th century trade cards and writings of the day confirms the total lack of usage of the word chatelaine in the 18th century. The complete Heal & Banks trade cards of appropriate trades have been viewed. At least forty of the trade cards that relate to toymen, goldsmiths or watchmakers, include on the cards pictures or descriptions of watches, chains and equipages."

    F

    fan 18th century folding fans typically have wood or ivory sticks and a paper or parchment leaf. They are held in the hand—they do not have a ring at the end for attaching a ribbon so that the fan can hang from the wrist. Fancy fans are typically painted with a) fêtes galantes—scenes of courtly amusements taking place in Arcadian settings b) classical scenes (Greek or Roman mythology or literature) or c) Biblical scenes. Examples:

    • Greenwood, John (American, 1737-1792). The Greenwood-Lee Family, 1747. On the Web at CGFA. Woman at right holds fan in hand. (The family is painted in a casual setting. At least the woman in the grey wrap-front gown and the man in cap and unbuttoned coat are in "undress".)
    • Boucher, François. La toilette. 1742. On the Web at CGFA. Flat fan on floor at left.
    • Roslin, Alexander. The Lady with the Veil. On the Web at Nationalmuseum and at eSchoonet. The painter was Swedish but worked largely in France; the model was French but dressed in the Italian style (à la Boulognaise), FWIW.
    • Moreau le Jeune (Jean Michel Moreau; 1741-1814), engraved by Pietro Antonio Martini. La Dame du Palais de la Reine, 1777, from Le Monument du Costume. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 33.6.3. On the Web at the Met.
    • Chandler, Winthrop. Mrs. Samuel Chandler. Circa 1780. On the Web at the National Gallery of Art. See detail image.
    • unknown (French). Two ladies, one holding a fan and the other a rose. On the Web at the Bowes Museum. Note how the woman holds the fan between her second and third fingers.

    Examples of fêtes galantes:

    Ways to hold a fan—some ways are used when sitting, some when standing, some in either case.

    ferreting Binding the edge of fabric with tape, usually the bottom of a petticoat, or the edge of a felt hat brim. Examples:

    • Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon. Girl with Racket and Shuttlecock. French, 1740. On the Web at CGFA and at WebMuseum, Paris. Neckline and bottom hems of sleeves are narrowly bound with dark silk, probably black silk ribbon.
    • Greuze, Jean-Baptiste. The Laundress (La Blanchisseuse). French, 1761. On the Web at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Petticoat is ferreted.
    • Greuze, Jean-Baptiste. The Spoiled Child. 1765. On the Web at CGFA. Petticoat is ferreted.
    • The fond parents. London : Printed for R. Sayer & J. Bennett No. 53 Fleet Street as the act directs, 16 Sepr. 1776. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 766.09.16.01+. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Digital Collection. Probably a ferreted petticoat, but could be an attempt to draw a hem. The petticoat is striped. A bit of the inside of the petticoat can be seen, and the ferreting(?) is no wider on the inside than the outside.
    • Aubry, Etienne (French). Farewell to the Wet Nurse. 1777. On the Web at the Clark Art Institute Museum Shop. The wet nurse's under petticoat is ferreted.

    fichu French word for a handkerchief. This word was not used by English speakers until after the American Revolution.

    flannel 1) (18c) Wool flannel. 2) (modern) Cotton and/or synthetic flannel.

    frock 1) ("Frock" or "frock coat".) A moderately informal style of man's coat, with a collar (standing or falling) and cut more loosely than a (dress) coat. 2) A farmer's loose overshirt (smock). 3) A child's gown (possibly only certain styles).

    • Zoffany, Johann. A Scene from 'Love in a Village' by Isaac Bickerstaffe, 1762. at MyStudios.com Gallery and at Wikipedia. The gentleman in the middle, who is dressed for hunting, wears a frock coat; compare the gentleman on the left, who wears a (dress) coat.

    flounce Shaped self-fabric trim applied to the ends of women's gown and jacket sleeves, particularly in the third quarter of the century. Single flounces were used first, then double, then triple, before flounces were abandoned in the shift toward neoclassical dress. Flounces were often accompanied with sleeve ruffles. Examples:

    • Sack back gown, Dress, Robe, 1760-1769 (made), ca. 1742 (hand woven), Great Britain (made) Spitalfields (probably, woven). Victoria & Albert Museum, T.122-1957. On the Web at the V&A. Double sleeve flounce edged with a decorative woven trim.
    • Sack-back gown with petticoat, 1770–1779. Great Britain (made), silk with linen (lining). Victoria & Albert Museum, T.471 to B-1980. On the Web at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Double sleeve flounces trimmed with a self-fabric bow and chenille trim.

    full To process woolen fabric so that the fibers twist and lock together. The fabric becomes thicker and more weatherproof, and as a side effect, shrinks a lot. Well-fulled wool holds an edge (does not fray) when cut and is largely wind- and waterproof. Wool is fulled by agitation, certain chemical processes, and to a lesser degree, heat. The old-fashioned way to full wool is to soak it with stale urine, beat it or stomp on it for a long time, and then wash it clean. The modern home method is to throw it in the washing machine with plenty of detergent so that the fibers can slip past each other and lock together, agitate it for a while, and then rinse.

    G

    garter A band of leather, fabric tape, knitting, or possibly other forms that holds up your stockings. Women usually gartered their stockings above the knee, although they sometimes gartered them below the knee. When using a fabric tape, it seems that it was generally long enough to wrap twice (which would distribute the pressure better). Examples:

    • Boucher, François. La toilette. 1742. On the Web at CGFA (image). Woman at left is gartering her stocking above the knee with a pink garter, possible silk grosgrain ribbon, wrapped at least twice.
    • Hogarth, William. A Harlot's Progress, plate 4 of 6. 1732. On the Web at CGFA. The harlot's servant, second from right, is gartering her stocking above the knee. The garter appears long enough to wrap twice. (The stocking appears to have a large hole at the knee.)
    • Hogarth, William. After (Outdoor Scene). c. 1731. On the Web at Olga's Gallery. Stockings gartered below the knee.
    • Hogarth, William. The Rake's Progress, the Tavern Scene. at Haley & Steele. Dark-colored stockings gartered above the knee with light-colored garters on woman seated toward right.
    • Lady in a Polish-style dress, in Galerie des modes et costumes francais, dessinés d'après nature. 1778-1787. at the British Library . Reproduced in the Dover book French Fashion Plates. Blue garters tied above the knee. The end of one garter is visible; two Vs are cut from it to prevent fraying..

    gloves Examples:

    • Zoffany, Johann. John Wilkes and his Daughter (Mary Wilkes), 1779. On the Web at the National Portrait Gallery and at the Art Fund for UK Museums. She wears a long leather(?) glove with fur edging at the top and holds the matching glove in her gloved hand. I find her combinations of colors, materials, and hairstyle to be garish and ugly, but she has very sweetly removed her glove in order to hold her father's hand.
    • Wheatley, Francis. Family Group, c. 1775/1780. On the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Mother wears white gloves. See detail image.

    gown A full length, sleeved garment with a fitted bodice and skirts; the bodice and skirts may be cut in one, cut separately, or cut in one in some places and separate elsewhere, depending on the particular style. Women's gowns were cut in two basic variations: the English gown (night gown, robe à l'anglaise) and the sack gown (negligee, sacque, robe à la française). Children's gowns were cut in two basic variations: the back-closing gown for both girls and boys, and the front-closing gown for boys only (possibly called a coat) which has more or fewer features of a man's coat, largely dependent on the boy's age. With modifiers, this term can refer to distinctly different garments such as the bed gown, short gown, and night gown (a loose robe for men).

    Examples:

    Women's:
    See closed gown, gown en fourreau, negligée, night gown, open gown, polonaise, robe à l'anglaise, robe à la française, round gown, sacque.
    Children's (for more information, see Children's Clothing at 18cNewEnglandLife.org):
    • Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon. Girl with Racket and Shuttlecock. French, 1740. On the Web at CGFA and at WebMuseum, Paris. Typical back-fastening child's gown, in this case quite finely fitted.
    • Sandby, Paul. Miss Marsden, 1753. On the Web at the Courtauld Institute of Art. The gown has leading strings.
    • Christinek, Carl-Ludwig (Russian, 1732–1792). Portrait of two Sisters, 1772. On the Web at Wikimedia Commons. Although the girls are clearly from a wealthy family, the cut of the girls' gowns is utterly typical. The bodices come to a deep point in front. The bodices are not attached to the skirts in front, and may not be completely separate. The portrait is a nice example showing that blue and pink weren't strictly color-coded for boys and girls. The sash ends are cut into large teeth to prevent fraying, with the usual "half teeth" at the sides. Also note two dolls on the floor by the younger girl.
    • Copley, John Singleton. The Copley Family, 1776/77. National Gallery of Art, Andrew W. Mellon Fund 1961.7.1. Available on the Web at The National Gallery of Art and at the CGFA. The three girls wear fairly typical child's gowns, although the oldest girl's may have a bodice with vertical pleats which is a less common form. The boy (embracing his mother) may wear a front-fastening gown; a collar of sorts is just visible by his neck (see detail image). The three girls wear sashes with their gowns; the boy may as well. The doll (or fashion baby) appears to wear a child's gown as well.
    • Hoare, William. Full length seated left profile view of young girl - Anne Hoare. On the Web at A&A Art and Architecture. Girl in cotton or linen print gown with white leading strings.

    (gown) en fourreau A gown with the bodice and skirt cut as one at the center back and stitched down in flattened tubes. The remainder of the bodice and skirt are cut separately and seamed together. This term may be a post-18c costume history term rather than 18c. Examples:

    H

    habit See riding habit.

    handkerchief 1) Handkerchief; see pocket handkerchief. 2) Neck handkerchief. Also called neck handkerchief, neckerchief, neckatee, (French) fichu, etc. "Handkerchief" was the most common term. Confusing? The people whose fault it is have been dead for two hundred years. The French word fichu was not used by English speakers until after the Revolutionary War. 3) rare Kerchief. (Handkerchiefs were very rarely worn on the head.) ["Kerchief" comes from French couvre chef, "cover the head", so a neck handkerchief is a cover for the head for the hand for the neck. Ain't language great?]

    Women wore handkerchiefs in many, many ways, of which the most common was probably untucked in back and tucked in in front. The back can be untucked or tucked in. The front can be pinned close to the neck, pinned further down, pinned with the ends allowed to separate below the pin, pinned so that the ends hang down and overlap, knotted, twisted (like a Steinkirk), tucked in in the center, tucked in toward the sides, and, late in the 18th century after the end of the Revolution when handkerchiefs could be quite large, crossed in front and brought around the sides to tie in back. The ends may be used in front to over the stomacher area of a gown with an open bodice, and may be tucked behind a ribbon or ribbons which cross the stomacher area. The front may cover the entire portion of the bosom left uncovered by the gown, virtually none of it, or anything in between.

    For men, alternatives to a handkerchief are a stock or neckcloth. A handkerchief is the least formal of these three alternatives. Men usually rolled or folded their handkerchiefs to somewhat resemble a neckcloth, but handled the ends in about as many ways as women.

    Women's handkerchiefs:

    • William Hogarth (1697-1764). David Garrick & his Wife, 1757. On the Web at CGFA and at the Art Renewal Center (image). Mrs. Garrick's handkerchief is twisted in a very loose Steinkirk style.
    • Morland, Henry Robert. A Girl Singing Ballads by a Paper Lanthorn, circa 1765-82. On the Web at the Tate. Unusual dark ground print handkerchief.

    There are a fair number of examples of handkerchiefs worn on the head over caps, mostly French. Here are three non-French examples of handkerchiefs with or without caps:

    • Allan, David. The Edinburgh Fishwife, ca. 1788. According to Before the Clearances: 17th and 18th Century Scottish Costume, the woman is a lowlander. She appears to wear her handkerchief over a cap, possibly a lappet cap.
    • Zoffany, Johann. Beggars on the Road to Stanmore. On the Web at MyStudios.com Gallery. Impossible to tell whether the handkerchief is being worn over a cap.
    • Penny, Edward. The Virtuous Comforted by Sympathy and Attention, 1774. In Paintings of the British Social Scene, p. 95. Dreadful version on the Web at Google Books on the dust jacket of George Cheyne: The English malady (1733) by George Cheyne, edited with an introduction by Roy Porter, Routledge, 1991. Version by Valentine Green (1739-1813), after Edward Penny R.A., on the Web at Christie's. A smidgen of cap can be seen peeking out from under the handkerchief of the attendant. The virtuous woman also wears a handkerchief over her head, which in this case leaves the front of her cap visible.

    and French examples:

    • Greuze, Jean-Baptiste (b. 1725, Tournus, d. 1805, Paris). Epiphany (Le gâteau des rois). 1774. On the Web at the Web Gallery of Art. The woman at the left wears a handkerchief over her cap, with the ends crossed under her chin.
    • Vigée Le Brun, Elisabeth Louise. Julie Le Brun with a mirror, 1787. On the Web at the Bat Guano Museum of Art. Daughter of the artist; her clothing may not be typical for French girls in general. Her neck handkerchief is crossed in front and tied in back, which was a fairly popular style for women in the '80s.
    • Lépicié, Nicolas-Bernard (Paris, 1735 - Paris, 1784). Les Apprêts d'un déjeuner. at Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes (click on Agrandir l'image for a larger version of the image). Patterned handkerchief on head; I think it's white checked with medium blue and salmony orange. I think that's a bit of cap at her forehead, but it's possible it's a fold of her handkerchief. Her gown is unusual: it has long, loose sleeves with the ends are turned up into cuffs and there is a non-matching patch at the front of her left shoulder and another on the turned-up cuff of her right sleeve, and a somewhat better matching patch (darker brown) at the side of her left thigh. Except that the garment is long enough for her to kneel on, I would have thought it was a bed gown.

    hat Generally, a headcovering for with a brim going entirely around the crown.

    Women's hats were frequently of straw, usually braided; fancy hats could be made of silk-covered straw, chip, or other materials; other types of hats were less common. Women could wear a felt or beaver hat, much like a man's although sometimes trimmed with ostrich feathers, with a riding habit. Throughout most of the century, low-crowned hats (nearly flat to about 2 inches) were fashionable, while higher crowned hats were unfashionable and worn almost exclusively by country folk. In the 1780s, large hats with huge crowns became fashionable. The stereotypical lower class hat throughout much of the century was a low-crowned (1/2 inch to 1 inch) straw hat, not too large brimmed, untrimmed except for a piece of ribbon around the join between crown and brim, gathered, ruched, or plain, or, most often, gathered crosswise every so often to form small poufs, and with ties attached to the underside of the hat.

    Men's hats were generally felt or beaver; straw hats were quite uncommon. Military styling generally called for the hat to be cocked on three sides (post-18c term: "tricorn"), often trimmed with "lace" (see lace (2)) and/or a cockade. Lower class civilian hats were left flat or cocked on one side, two, or three sides, and were typically untrimmed; middle and upper class hats had considerable variety and trim.

    Examples of women's hats:

    • Hogarth, William. A Harlot's Progress, plate 1 of 6. 1732. On the Web at CGFA. The slightly high hat crown shows that the young women is a simple country girl.
    • Hat, 1750–1770, feathers, linen and silk, hand-stitched with silk and linen thread, Great Britain. Victoria & Albert Museum, T.90-2003. On the Web at the V&A. Covered with feathers of common origin dyed in a variety of colours.
    • Sandby, Paul. Miss Marsden, 1753. On the Web at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Back view showing how the hat strings are tied. The bow appears large, but this may be because it is all mixed up with a cap ribbon tied behind the head. The wearer is a girl in a back-lacing gown.
    • Rennoldson, M. The Female Orators, 1768. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 768.11.20.1. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. The righthand combatant's hat is leaning up against the basket of pottles behind her. It appears to be the stereotypical lower class straw hat with a ribbon around the crown, gathered into small poufs.
    • Hat, 1760s, straw, plaited and dyed, Italy (possibly) England (probably). Victoria & Albert Museum, 158-1865. On the Web at the V&A. Round, flat straw hat embroidered with straw-work flowers.
    • Cleveley junr, J. A View near New Cross Deptford in Kent, 1770, from Twelve Views in Kent & Surry, drawn from Nature by J. Cleveley junr. On the Web at the British Museum. Typical ordinary woman's hat on woman in foreground: straw trimmed around brim with ribbon. The front is tipped slightly downward and the back is tipped upward as is typical for the 1770s.
    • Watson, James (printmaker) Sayer, Robert (publisher) Falconet, Pierre Etienne (painter). Lucinda, called Lady Catherine Bampfylde, 1772. The Fitzwilliam Museum, P.11251-R. On the Web at the Fitzwilliam Museum. Hat covered with black(?) silk trimmed around the brim with tightly gathered self-fabric, ribbon, or gauze, and around the crown with light-colored ribbon or fabric in two rows of large poufs.
    • Miss returning from a Visit, or Thomas Fording a Brook with his Mistress. London. Printed for R. Sayer & J. Bennett, No. 53 Fleet Street as the Act directs 20 August 1774. On the Web at A Catalogue of 18th-Century British Mezzotint Satires in North American Collections. A fashionable hat to wear with the high hairstyles of the 1770s.
    • Walton, Henry. Winifred Constable. On the Web at the Artchive. A fancy and fashionable silk-covered hat to wear with the high hairstyles of the 1770s.
    • Collet, John (after). Good Entertainment for Man and Horse, 1776. British Museum, Registration number: 1878,0713.1318. On the Web at the British Museum. Extremely typical ordinary woman's hat (on ground behind dog): straw trimmed around brim with ribbon with occasional crosswise gathers.
    • Kingsbury, Henry (printmaker), Humphrey, William (publisher), Smith, John Raphael after (painter). Mrs. Lovibond, 1779. The Fitzwilliam Museum, P.16-1950. On the Webat the Fitzwilliam Museum. Black felt or beaver hat trimmed with numerous black ostrich feathers, worn with a riding habit.
    • Dighton, Robert (artist). April, 1785. Victoria & Albert Museum, E.36-1947. On the Web at the V&A. Fairly restrained large-crowned hat of the fashion of the 1780s.

    Examples of men's hats:

    • Zoffany, Johann. A Scene from 'Love in a Village' by Isaac Bickerstaffe, 1762. at MyStudios.com Gallery and at Wikipedia. Compare the laced hat (see lace (2)) of the gentleman on the right, echoing the lace on his coat, with untrimmed hat with curling sides worn by the servant behind him.
    • Haytley, Edward. Sir William Milner, 2nd Bart, 1764. The Fitzwilliam Museum, PD.26-1997. On the Webat the Fitzwilliam Museum. Hat, cocked on three sides, trimmed along edge of brim with gold lace; coat is also trimmed with a narrower gold lace. The triple-cocked hat and gold lace give a somewhat military flair to his dress without being strictly military in style.
    • Zoffany, Johann. The Porter and the Hare, 1768. On the Web at the Art Fund for UK Museums and at vads: the online resource for visual arts. The porter wears a uncocked hat over his knitted cap.
    • Rennoldson, M. The Female Orators, 1768. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 768.11.20.1. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. Three men's hats are visible: a clergyman's flat hat, being handed to him by one of the bearers of his chair and uncocked hats on the other bearer and the fiddle player. In addition, two men wear caps; the pointed one is probably knit and the other may be knit or woven.
    • A Scene near Cox Heath, or The Enraged Farmer. Printed for Robert Sayer and John Bennett, London, England, 1779. Colonial Williamsburg, 1941-224. Reproduced in Eighteenth-Century Clothing at Colonial Williamsburg by Linda Baumgarten (The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1986, ISBN 0-87935-109-8), p. 65. On the Web in a Google Books excerpt of Eighteenth-Century Clothing at Colonial Williamsburg. A farmer wears an uncocked or lightly cocked, somewhat battered hat.
    • An English JACK-TAR giving MONSIEUR a Drubbing. Publish'd May 1st 1779. On the Web at A Catalogue of 18th-Century British Mezzotint Satires in North American Collections. Two sailors in slops wear untrimmed hats, the man's with a single, somewhat haphazard cock in front and the ship's boy's with a slightly turned up brim. In the background, a woman can be seen wearing a very fashionable hat that goes with the high hair of the 1770s.

    hood Hoods were popular in the first half of the 18th century but were largely displaced by bonnets in the second half, although they do appear in some probate inventories (e.g., 70 "hoods" among 80 estate inventories of New Hampshire women taken between 1760 and 1789). Hoods may have been retained longer in some areas such as New England or among some groups such as Quakers, but more research is needed. As a further difficulty, the word "hood" sometimes refers to a hooded cloak of sorts; see riding hood.

    • Hogarth. The Harlot's Progress, Plate 6, 1732. On the Web at CGFA. All the "mourning" women wear hoods.
    • Winter, circa 1750s. British Museum, 2010,7081.477. "Printed for & Sold by Henry Overton at the White Horse without Newgate, & Rob.t Sayer at the Golden Buck opposite Fetter Lane, Fleet Street." On the Web at the British Museum. The print is captioned, "Winter in all her wamest Dress behold, / To guard her Body from the piercing Cold; // Her Hood and Mantle and her Velvet Muff, / All she can wrap about her's scarce enough." The woman wears a small hood, apparently black silk, that ties under her chin. The ruffle of her cap shows in front of the hood. Little detail can be distinguished, but the hood seems to have lappets that narrow into the chin ties. There may be some layering, shaping, or folding to produce extra thickness over the top of the head, or this may be a separate scarf(???) tied over the hood.
    • Woman's hood, grey silk. Quaker. Chester County Historical Society, Pennsylvania. In Fitting & Proper (Sharon Ann Burnston, Scurlock Publishing Co., RR 5, Box 347M, Texarkana TX 75503, 1-800-228-6389; hardback edition, 1998, ISBN 1-880655-08-X; paperback edition, March 2000, ISBN 1880655101).
    • Woman's hood, American, late 18th century. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Accession number: 99.664.19. On the Web at the MFA. The MFA says: "Provenance/Ownership History: Worn by Abigail Robbins (1759–1850). Place of Manufacture: probably Ipswich, Massachusetts, United States (lace). Place of Manufacture: probably Massachusetts, United States. Black silk caped hood trimmed with lace; gathered at back with drawstring around face and one surviving ribbon tie; small shaped cape with pointed back." The hood almost certainly dates to after the American Revolution due, based on the use of Ipswich lace.
    • Inventory of Rebecca Parker of Cumberland County, Penn., 1781: "6 gowns--one each of blue stuff, chintz, striped chintz, striped cotton, striped calico and white pollonea / 5 cotton short gowns / 1 under jacket / 2 cloaks--one of cloth and one of silk / 1 silk bonnet / 1 fur hat / 1 hood / 1 black silk gauze hood / 6 petticoats--one each of black calimanco, striped linsey and underpetticoat, and 3 striped cotton / 1 winestone colored quilted petticoat / 3 stuff shirts / 3 shifts / 2 stays / 6 wearing caps / 3 night caps / 2 check aprons, 1 linen apron, 1 lawn apron / 7 handkerchiefs--one silk, one black silk, 2 lawn, 1 muslin and 2 gauze / 3 pr thread stockings / 1 pr cotton stockings / 1 pr silk mitts / 1 pr linen mitts / 1 pr stuff shoes / 1 pr calfskin shoes / 1 pr silver shoe buckles / 2 silk cuffs / 3 pr sleeves / 1 pr silver sleeve buttons / 1 silver hair pin / 2 pocketbooks"
    • Inventory of Tjatie Dubois of Rochester, Ulster Co. NY. July 2, 1791 (Dutch/ Huguenot). "... 4 long Gowns, 7 short do., 3 long do., 3 white aprons, 1 Peticoat, 5 check aprons, 7 pr. linen stockings, 9 handkerchiefs, 4 pair shoes, 3 black handkerchiefs, 3 [ ?]ack Hoods, 1 persain apron, 1 broad cloth cloak, 2 pr. woolen stockings, 1 short broad cloth cloak, 1 pr. silver sleeve buttons, 1 pr. silver shoe buckles, 1 silk gown, 1 old bonnet, 15 shirts (Shifts?)..."

    J

    jabot Not an 18th century clothing item! There is no documentation for such a clothing accessory in the 18th century, and the Oxford English Dictionary's earliest citation for the word dates to 1823. Men generally wore a stock, neckcloth, or handkerchief around their shirt collars, and a fancy neckcloth might have ends decorated with lace. Men sometimes had the neck slit of their shirt edged with a ruffle of fine fabric or lace on one or both sides. Neckcloth ends and shirt ruffles may sometimes resemble a jabot in appearance, particularly at a casual glance, but jabots were not worn.

    jacket A short, fitted, man's or woman's garment, which extends only slightly below the waist; perhaps to high hip height. Or possibly even a much longer woman's garment—up to knee length—might be called a jacket.

    jesuit A full length traveling garment cut more or less like a jacket or gown, but with a hood and with separate upper and lower sleeves. See also brunswick. Examples:

    • Nattier, Jean Marc. Louise-Elisabeth de France, Duchesse de Parme, dite Madame Infante (1727-1759), 1760. On the Web at Joconde and at Joconde (detail). Possibly a jesuit with two-part sleeve and sack back; no hood is visible. White bow at neck suggests the garment is worn with a habit shirt. Blue bows below this suggest there is a false waistcoat front or compère.
    • Meyer, Jeremiah (English, 1735-1789). Queen Charlotte, 1700s. On the Web at CGFA. Not much is visible, but as the hood and sleeved body are apparently the same garment, this is probably a brunswick or jesuit.

    jumps A woman's support garment, lightly stiffened with whalebone, cane, wood splints, cording, buckram, quilting and/or other means. It is not known whether jumps could use no stiffening other than the fabric of the jumps. No precise definition has been found for jumps, but it is clear that they were, on average, less stiffened than stays. Jumps almost certainly can lace front only, and possibly even usually lace front only. They may have had shoulder straps more often than stays, and perhaps even always. Jumps could be worn by invalids, pregnant women, elderly women, and slatterns, and in informal situations. Stays seem to have been the usual garment, rather than jumps, but data is lacking.

    • Woman's embroidered jumps, ca. 1700. Polychrome silk chain stitch on a faux quilted linen ground with knotted fringe edging. On the Web at Cora Ginsburg LLC. Labeled as jumps although it is possible it might be more properly considered a waistcoat (2).
    • Chodowiecki, Daniel. Tab. III a. b. Zwei Kleiderkammern. (Beschreibung lt. Quelle), in DANIEL CHODOWIECKI 62 bisher unveröffentlichte Handzeichnungen zu dem Elementarwerk von Johann Bernhard Basedow., c. 1770. On the Web at Wikimedia Commons. The rightmost of the garments hanging on pegs in the woman's wardrobe is presumably jumps; the item next to it is stays.
    • The fond parents. London : Printed for R. Sayer & J. Bennett No. 53 Fleet Street as the act directs, 16 Sepr. 1776. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 766.09.16.01+. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Digital Collection. Going by how visible the shape of her bust is, the woman may be wearing jumps.

    K

    kertch A head covering of some Scottish women. See Before the Clearances: 17th and 18th Century Scottish Costume.

    kissing strings Also called "bridles". Term of hazy meaning and usage which appears to have referred to cap lappets that narrow toward their bottoms and are of a length to be fastened under the chin with strings or ribbons. See lappet cap for additional examples.

    • "A fine laced Mob tied under the chin by a bridle ... The ladies still retain an ornament for that part (the head-dress) which is often unbecoming, namely their Bridles or Kissing Strings." 1733. The Auditor, April. Quoted in C. Willett and Phillis Cunnington's Handbook of English Costume in the 18th century (Boston: Plays, Inc., 1972), pp. 158-60.

    L

    lace 1) Fabric with a decorative pattern of holes; in the 18c, generally, needle lace or bobbin lace, although some other techniques were used. 2) Woven or braided tape applied decoratively as a trim; for example, on military uniforms.

    lappet cap Modern term for a cap with lappets; the period name or names is unknown, although see kissing strings for one possible term for one type of lappet cap, or part of it. Caps with lappets were very popular in the 1730s and '40s, and moderately popular in the 1750s and into the '60s, but were dead as a fashion item by the 1770s; at that point, while they were rarely worn by younger women, they were only frequently worn by elderly women who either retained the styles of their youth, wanted to keep warm, wanted to hide their wrinkled or sagging necks, or, most likely, all of the above. Lappet caps made a fierce comeback in the late 1780s.

    • Hogarth, William. The Harlot's Progress, 1732. On the Web at CGFA. Lappet caps in plate 2 (on harlot), plate 3 (ditto), and plate 4 (on leftmost woman and rightmost woman); some other women in these plates may wear lappet caps as well.
    • Hogarth, William. Marriage a la Mode, plate 2 Early in the Morning, 1743. On the Web at CGFA.
    • Mercier, Philippe. The Music Party, Frederick, Prince of Wales and His Sisters, circa 1733. On the Web at CGFA and at art.com. Three lappet caps worn in three different styles: lappets pinned up, lappets pinned under the chin, and lappets loose.
    • Hogarth, William. Marriage a la Mode, plate 6 Death of the Countess, 1743. On the Web at Haley and Steele and at Olga's Gallery. Both the countess and her servant wear caps whose brims extend down into lappets. Lappets were very popular in the 1740s.
    • Highmore, Joseph. Pamela Preparing to Go Home, 1743-4. On the Web at the National Gallery of Victoria. Lappet cap on woman seated at left.
    • Highmore, Joseph. Pamela Fainting, 1743-4. On the Web at the National Gallery of Victoria. Lappet caps on both woman.
    • Highmore, Joseph. Pamela in the Bedroom with Mrs Jewkes and Mr B, 1743-4. On the Web at the Tate.
    • Highmore, Joseph. Pamela is Married, 1743-4. On the Web at the Tate.
    • Highmore, Joseph. Pamela Asks Sir Jacob Swinford's Blessing, 1743-4. On the Web at the Tate.
    • Hogarth, William. The Artists Servants, 1750. On the Web at Humanities Web.
    • Wheatley, Francis. Farmyard in Winter, 1793. On the Web at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    lappets Two long strips of material that hang down from the top of the head. They can be either: a) Extensions of the cap band; see lappet cap. b) Extensions of the pinner ruffle? c) A single long piece of lace, made to shape (usually with the ends widened and with a round finish—sort of a teardrop effect), folded at the center, and pinned to the head over or instead of a pinner. Lappets of a cap (a) frequently have the ends folded back up and pinned on top of the cap; this is less common (rare?) with pinner lappets (b) or standalone lappets (c). For examples of caps with lappets, see lappet cap.

    • Hogarth, William. The Four Times of Day Plate I, Morning, 1738. On the Web at the Northwestern University Library and at Idaho State University.
    • Highmore, Joseph. Pamela and Mr. B in the Summer House, 1744. On the Web at CGFA. Either a pinner or a small lappet cap, with the lappets pinned up.
    • May, published by T. Burford, England, 1745-1747. Cap with lace lappets hanging down in back. Reproduced in Eighteenth Century Clothing at Williamsburg by Linda Baumgarten, p. 44.
    • Duplessis, Joseph-Siffred. Madam Freret-Déricour, 1769. On the Web at CGFA. Lappets or pinner with lappets, with ends pinned on top of head.

    leading strings Two long strips of fabric, or sometimes woven tapes, that hang from the shoulders of a child's gown, or sometimes a single strip or tape with each end attached to a shoulder. Leading strings are useful for holding on to, or holding up, a toddler who is learning to walk. Much older children's gowns sometimes had leading strings as a sign of childhood, but this was increasingly uncommon as the century progressed. Examples:

    • Watteau, Jean-Antoine. The Music Party (Les Charmes de la vie), 1718. On the Web at the Wallace Collection and at the Artchive. Leading strings on the girl in pink.
    • Watteau, Jean-Antoine. L'occupation selon l'age (Occupations according to age). The artwork has been lost. A photograph of a copy(?) may be seen on the Web at at MutualArt.com. Leading strings on the girl in pink. Note similarity to girl in Watteau's The Music Party; it appears to be the same gown and child, and perhaps one figure is copied from the other (with some modifications).
    • Perronneau, Jean-Baptiste (probably by). A Girl with a Kitten, 1745. On the Web at the National Gallery, London. Painted silk gown with leading strings. Sleeve trim, neck bow, and bib apron of blue silk.
    • Pesne, Antoine. Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, 1746. On the Web at Kunstcopie.de and at La Couturière Parisienne.
    • Sandby, Paul. Miss Marsdenat the Courtauld Institute of Art.
    • Zoffany, Johann. John, Fourteenth Lord Willoughby de Broke, and his Family, c. 1766. On the Web at the J. Paul Getty Museum. We can tell that the child on the table is a girl by her frilly cap. The boys, on the floor, have bare heads and the boy on the right pulls a masculine toy. Leading strings are visible on the younger boy's gown; the pink fabric hanging behind the girl's gown could be either leading strings or the end of her sash.
    • Hoare, William. Full length seated left profile view of young girl - Anne Hoare. On the Web at A&A Art and Architecture. Girl in cotton or linen print gown with white leading strings.

    linen 1) Fabric made of flax. 2) Fabric made of either flax or hemp.

    M

    mantle A fancy short cloak made of silk, lace, or fur, usually lined (unless lace), usually with an edging, often with a hood. A silk mantle may be edged with lace, fabric ruffles, or fur; a lace mantle may be edged with lace. Cut like a cloak (basic half-circle cut) but shaped shorter at the sides to allow the forearms to move freely. Usually hangs to the elbow at the side, to the waist or lower in front or back. Possibly also called a "short cloak". Some versions are very small and may have been called "tippets" or something else.

    • Winter, circa 1750s. British Museum, 2010,7081.477. "Printed for & Sold by Henry Overton at the White Horse without Newgate, & Rob.t Sayer at the Golden Buck opposite Fetter Lane, Fleet Street." On the Web at the British Museum. The print is captioned, "Winter in all her wamest Dress behold, / To guard her Body from the piercing Cold; // Her Hood and Mantle and her Velvet Muff, / All she can wrap about her's scarce enough." Black(?) velvet(?) mantle trimmed with pale-colored fur and lined in a pale color. May be lined with fur, but silk or wool seems more likely given the visible change in texture and thickness between the trim and lining. Somewhat unusually, has no hood. There is no apparent shortening at the sides; rather, the shape is simply like a short cloak with rounded corners at both the tops and bottoms of the front edges. While the caption of this print might seem to nicely document the use of the term "mantle", compare this similar print by the same printer: Winter, circa 1750s, British Museum 2010,7081.478, on the Web at the British Museum, where the woman wears what I would call a pelisse (with ermine trim) and rather than a cap being visible under her hood, the hood is trimmed in ermine. See also Winter, c. 1750, British Museum 2010,7081.483, on the Web at the British Museum, from a set of the seasons engraved by Purcell after paintings by Mercier, in which the woman wears a cap, black(?) hat, possibly a black(?) hood but more likely a hankerchief wrapped over the cap and around her neck, fur-edged velvet(?) muff, and black(?) silk mantle edged with same-color lace or other textured trim, without rounded corners and possibly shortened slightly over her forearms.
    • Ramsay, Allan. Portrait of Margaret Lindsay, Mrs. Allan Ramsay, c. 1757. On the Web at Olga's Gallery. White lace with hood and white lace edging.
    • Ramsay, Allan. Portrait Of Elizabeth Gunning, Duchess Of Argyll, 1760. On the Web at the Art Renewal Center. Bright pink silk mantle edged with white or off-white lace, approx. 1 1/2 inches wide, which matches her engageantes in style. Lace is ungathered along straight hems but may be gathered along the hood and where the mantle is shaped back at the elbows. Lace bows at the elbows, inset just above the lace edging. Hood. Probably unlined, although could be lined with self fabric. White or off-white silk ribbon serves as ties at neck, approx. 1 inch wide, ends approx. 8 inches long, may be run through casing at join of body and hood.
    • Watson, James (printmaker) Sayer, Robert (publisher) Falconet, Pierre Etienne (painter). Lucinda, called Lady Catherine Bampfylde, 1772. On the Web at the Fitzwilliam Museum. Black(?) silk mantle, trimmed with gathered self-fabric or ribbon. Unusual example of a hood worn over the head in art (under a fancy hat).
    • Wheatley, Francis. Family Group, c. 1775/1780. On the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Mother wears white silk mantle edged with ruched wide, sheer, white ribbon with slight woven-in design. Hood is very large, possibly to go over large hairstyle, or possibly non-functional. See detail image.
    • Reynolds, Sir Joshua. Lady Caroline Howard. 1778. On the Web at CGFA (image). Black silk lined with white silk and edged with black lace.
    • A lady in waiting. Printed for & sold by Carington Bowles, at his Map & Print Warehouse, No. 69 in St. Pauls Church Yard, London. Publish'd as the Act directs [ca. 2 September 1780]. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 780.09.02.01+. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. Narrow mantle with long ends.
    • Woman's cape or mantle, black woven lace, 1760–1775, England, Spitalfields, OL including hood: 33″ at center front, sheer silk gauze (leno weave, brocaded). Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Acc. No. 1993-337. On the Web at the Colonial Williamsburg emuseum.

    masquerade Masquerade costume appears in many portraits. Often, but not always, the portrait sitter holds a mask in one hand.

    • Mengs, Anton Raphael. Marquise de Llano, 1760s? On the Web at La Couturière Parisienne. While her costume strongly resembles a riding habit, which is an 18th century garment, the trim at the shoulder seams and her snood and hat are not 18th century features. She holds a mask in her right hand. According to Dress in 18th Century Europe by Aileen Ribeiro, she is dressed in "an elegant version of maja costume".
    • Le Lorrain, Louis-Joseph, attributed to. Three Figures Dressed for a Masquerade, 1740s. The seated woman holds a mask in her left hand, as does the man to her left (our right). On the Web at the National Gallery of Art.

    miniature Miniature portrait, worn as a pendant, or on the wrist, or attached to the clothing in various other fashions, or sometimes set standing on a table or shelf. While cameos were not popular in the 18th century until the post-Revolution neoclassical period, miniatures were fairly common among the wealthy. Examples:

    mitts Gloves with open fingers and thumb. Typically cut on the bias with a point over the back of the hand. Examples:

    • Mitts, yellow silk, embroidered in blues and browns. First quarter 18th century, British, silk. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.2673a, b. On the Web at the Met. Apparently lined in coarse linen (see tiny bit of linen peeping out at tip of thumb in close-up view).
    • Mitts, yellow taffeta silk. The Spence Collection at Bath, Accession No. 23448 + A. On the Web at the Spence Collection at Bath; see also several other pairs of (17c,) 18c, (and 19c) mitts and mittens there.
    • Vispré, François-Xavier. Madame Roubiliac, ca. 1760. On the Web at the V&A. Black mitts. Most mitts come to a point over the back of the fingers, with the point often turned back over the back of the hand, but these mitts are gently rounded over the knuckles with no apparent turnback.
    • Mitts, ca. 1770, British, cotton. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.2130a, b. On the Web at the Met. No points over backs of hands.
    • Mitts, leather with silk. Fourth quarter 18th century, possibly British. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.6196a, b. On the Web at the Met.
    • Roslin, Alexander. The Lady with the Veil. On the Web at Nationalmuseum. The painter was Swedish but worked largely in France; the model was French but dressed in the Italian style (à la Boulognaise), FWIW.
    • Copley, John Singleton (American, 1738-1815, active in Great Britain from 1774). Mrs. James Russell (Katherine Graves), c. 1770. On the Web at the North Carolina Museum of Art.
    • Peale, Charles Willson. Mrs. James Smith and Grandson, 1776. Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1980.93. On the Web at Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery. Ivory mitt, apparently silk.
    • Chandler, Winthrop. Mrs. Samuel Chandler. Circa 1780. On the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Black lace mitts. See detail image.
    • Zoffany, Johann. Portrait of Sophia Dumergue, about 1780. On the Web at VADS. Her mitts look like they're made of kid. The lining of the point could be kid, silk, or even linen. I mostly only included this example because of the cute kitten.
    • Single dark brown leather mitt, polychrome silk embroidered flowers on back of hand. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection, 43.1973. On the Web at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    mob 18c term that referred either to caps in general and/or to particular styles of cap; what style it referred probably changed as rapidly as fashion. Because of confusion over the period meaning of the term, and confusion with the modern use of the term mob cap, many reenactors prefer to avoid using this term outside of scholarly discussion.

    mob cap Modern term for a modern item of costume! The popular culture term for what popular culture views as "an 18th century cap", generally interpreted as a circle of fabric with a casing a couple of inches in from the edge and either elastic or a drawstring through the casing, often constructed as two layers of fabric to avoid hemming. Although circle-with-drawstring caps do appear to have existed in at least some portions of the 19c, there is no documentation for their existence in the 18c. They violate all principles of 18c cut and construction, and other types of cap are amply documented. There was an 18c term mob which is unclear in meaning and which reenactors generally avoid; reenactors generally use the term "mob cap" (if they use it at all) to refer to the popular-culture fantasy cap.

    modesty piece Tucker. Someone did find the term "modesty piece" dating back to, I think, 1710-ish. It's more commonly called a "tucker". "Modesty piece" and "tucker" were also used in the 19th century for a triangular piece to fill in a V neckline, and for a chemisette. In either century, it did not refer to a neck handkerchief, neckerchief, neckatee, (French) fichu, etc.—what we sometimes call a kerchief today. Or perhaps the modesty piece is the bit that goes across the top of the stomacher (for gowns worn with stomachers) and the tucker is the piece that goes around the gown neckline? More research is needed.

    muff Muffs were small until late in the century. Examples:

    • Boucher, François (studio). Jeune femme au manchon (Young Woman with Muff), 2nd quarter 18th century. On the Web at the Joconde Database of French Museum Collections.
    • Highmore, Joseph. Two Ladies in an Interior. On the Web at the Tate. No date is given, but by the bell shape of the gown skirts I would guess 1740s (also the low hair, gown vs. shift sleeve length, shift sleeve ruffles, and general similarity to Highmore's illustrations of Pamela which are dated to the 1740s). The muff of the woman on the right is tied around her waist (or attached in some other fashion) so that she can remove her hands from the muff and use them at will.
    • Winter, circa 1750s. British Museum, 2010,7081.477. "Printed for & Sold by Henry Overton at the White Horse without Newgate, & Rob.t Sayer at the Golden Buck opposite Fetter Lane, Fleet Street." On the Web at the British Museum. The print is captioned, "Winter in all her wamest Dress behold, / To guard her Body from the piercing Cold; // Her Hood and Mantle and her Velvet Muff, / All she can wrap about her's scarce enough." Velvet muff trimmed with fur.
    • Gainsborough, Thomas. Mrs. Sarah Siddons, 1785. On the Web at Olga's Gallery.
    • Vigée Le Brun, Elisabeth Louise. Portrait of Madame Mole-Raymond, 1787. On the Web at the Bat Guano Museum of Art. The huge size of this muff goes along with the general late-century styling of the ensemble: big hat, big hair, long sleeves, big handkerchief that crosses in front and ties in back, cutaway gown bodice (probably—hard to see).

    muffatees Like mitts, but cover the forearms only, and not any part of the hands. I'm not 100% confident in how strictly these terms were applied, though. Mitt/mitten/muffatee, arm-hand/arm-hand-fingers/arm. Maybe they played mix and match with terms and garments.

    • Coypel, Charles-Antoine, 1694-1752. Portrait of Charlotte Philippine De Chatre Du Cange, Marquise De Lamure, c. 1735. Reproduced in Dress in 18th Century Europe by Aileen Ribeiro. On the Web at the Bridgeman Art Library and at kavery's journal and at Davis. Her muffatees are blue velvet(?), edged with light brown fur, and fastened with four buttons.

    muslin 1) (18c) Fine, lightweight linen fabric, often sheer, and later similar cotton fabric, used for fine ruffles and for late eighteenth century women's gowns such as the chemise à la reine and some neoclassical gowns. 2) (modern) A cheap, tightly woven cotton fabric of poor quality, generally yellowish or ecru with some slubbing, intended to be used for pattern mockups (see muslin (3)) and other throwaway uses. 3) (modern) A sample garment, generally made in a cheap fabric such as muslin (2), to test a pattern. Examples of muslin (1):

    • Vigée Le Brun, Elisabeth Louise. Marie Antoinette en Chemise. 1783. On the Web at the Bat Guano Museum of Art. "This portrait, with Marie Antoinette wearing a plain dress of white muslin, inspired criticism from some, who said that Vigee Le Brun had painted the Queen in her underwear." This portrait of Marie Antoinette was the origin of the term chemise à la reine.

    N

    neckcloth A rectangular length fabric worn about a man's neck over the shirt collar; a tall shirt collar would fold down over the neckcloth while a short collar would be entirely covered. Fancy neckcloths could be decorated with lace at the ends; this was more common earlier in the 18c (probably largely because lace was more popular earlier in the 18c) and was a conservative style of dress by the 1770s. Alternatives to a neckcloth are a stock or handkerchief. A neckcloth is generally more formal than a handkerchief but less formal than a stock.

    • Zoffany, Johann. A Scene from 'Love in a Village' by Isaac Bickerstaffe, 1762. at MyStudios.com Gallery and at Wikipedia. The gentleman on the left wears a neckcloth in a manner very similar to the servant on the right, but wider and more neatly arranged. The gentleman in the middle, who is dressed for hunting, wears either a neckcloth tucked into his waistcoat or a stock.

    necklace Most frequently, simply a lace (ribbon or cord) around the neck. This is the one form of "jewelry" which is seen moderately often on common women. Upper class women are sometimes seen with necklaces containing actual jewels, but are also frequently seen with the same simple ribbon that a common woman might wear. Examples of ribbon:

    • Liotard, Jean-Etienne (Swiss, 1702-1789). Portrait of Julie de Thellusson-Ployard, 1760. On the Web at CGFA.
    • Morland, Henry Robert (British, 1716-1797). A Lady's Maid Soaping Linen, circa 1765-82. On the Web at the Tate. Necklace of wide velvet(?) ribbon tied in back. Check out how she's pinned up her sleeve flounces to keep them out of the way while working! The lace edging on her cap is unusually coarse, or it may be an open woven trim. Different version on the Web at CGFA; note addition of chair, and not clear whether cap ruffle is lace.

    Examples of pearls:

    • Ramsay, Allan. Portrait Of Elizabeth Gunning, Duchess Of Argyll. 1760. On the Web at the Art Renewal Center. Necklace of ungraduated pearls. Wide ribbon tied in bow at back of neck probably serves to tie the necklace. Also a very nice bright pink silk mantle and a lovely understated hairstyle with a braid around the head.
    • Hogarth, William. Mrs. Catherine Edwards, 1739. On the Web at Olga's Gallery. Necklace of ungraduated pearls. A touch of blue at the back of her neck is probably part of the ribbon which serves to the the necklace.
    • Ramsay, Allan. Portrait Of Jean Abercromby, Mrs Morison. On the Web at the Art Renewal Center. Necklace of four strands of mixed large and pearls. Scrap of gauze tied in bow at back of neck(?) may serve to tie the necklace closed. Being a Ramsay, there is of course a mantle. Interesting feather in hair matches sack gown in color.

    negligée Sack gown.

    night gown English style gown (robe à l'anglaise). Also refers to a sort of man's informal gown or banyan.

    O

    open gown A gown whose skirt encircles the back and sides but is open at the front allowing the petticoat to be seen. The bodice may be either closed (meeting at center front) or open (not meeting, and filled in with a stomacher and/or neck handkerchief and/or something else).

    P

    parasol 18th century parasols had long straight handles. Examples:

    See 18th Century Parasols for further examples.

    pattens Examples:

    • Woman's Pattens 1750-1790. Accession number 1922/1795. On the Web at the Manchester Art Gallery's Gallery of Costume.

    pelisse A fancy, short (hip or thigh length) cloak-like outer garment made of four generally rectangular panels, with arm slits in the two front panels, and a hood. Generally made in silk and edged all around body, hood, and arm slits, often with fur. I'm unsure whether the word pelisse was used by English speakers.

    While the 18th century cloak is based on a circle cut (men's) or half circle cut (women's, some men's, women's short cloaks, women's mantles (with additional shaping)), the pelisse is based on a rectangular cut. Although Garsault's draft for a pelisse shows slight shaping of the panels over the shoulders, the pelisse cut is still far bulkier at the neckline than a circle or half circle cloak cut, and therefore is better suited to the lightweight silks from which it was apparently made, rather than to heavy, fulled wools. (Some pelisses appear to be fur-lined and it's unclear how this affected bulk at the shoulders.)

    The pelisse is similar to the mantle (fancy short cloak) in terms of fabrics, approximate size, and social class of those who wore it. A pelisse is probably less convenient to wear than a mantle, since the arms are covered and the arm slits only allow for minor movement, and this may be why so many more mantles are seen in art than pelisses.

    Examples:

    • Drouais, Jean-Germain. Madame Drouais, c. 1758. Could be either a pelisse or a mantle. On the Web at the Art Renewal Center. Fur-edged hood; deeply fur-edged or possibly fur-lined body. Top ~3″ of body has no fur lining—that would help with bulk at neck if fully lined.
    • Mijn, George van der. Elizabeth Troost, c. 1758. On the Web at the Web Gallery of Art.
    • Goya, Francisco de. The Parasol, 1777. On the Web at Olga's Gallery and at CGFA (image).
    • The Spruce Sportsman, or Beauty the Best Shot. Printed by Carrington Bowles. 1780. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 780.00.00.18+. Reproduced in Eighteenth Century Clothing at Williamsburg, Linda Baumgarten. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. Note that the cited versions are differently colored versions of the same print. The print is a satire, but the pelisse is likely largely accurate.
    • An English Man of War taking a French Prisoner. Printed by Carrington Bowles, 4 June 1781. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 781.6.0.1. Reproduced in Colonial Williamsburg Journal, Winter 2003-04. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. On the Web at Colonial Williamsburg Journal. Ermine trim, including arm slits and neckline. Ribbon tie at neck. Note that the cited versions are differently colored versions of the same print, the former being more skillfully colored than the latter.
    • Nattier, Jean-Marc. Portrait of a Woman in Grey, France, early 18th century. On the Web at the Hermitage. Grey pelisse edged with grey fur. The sitters arms are not thrust through the arm slits, but one can see the fur edging of the arm slits near the insides of her elbows.

    pet-en-l'air A sacque gown made at three-quarter length (mid to low thigh). The literal translation of this term is "fart in the air". Hey, I didn't think it up. I don't know yet whether a pet-en-l'air would be considered a jacket or not.

    • Hogarth, William (1697 - 1764). Marriage a la Mode, plate 2 Breakfast Scene, 1743. On the Web at Haley and Steele and at Olga's Gallery (as Shortly After the Marriage).
    • Sandby, Paul. Young lady writing at a table. No date available, but appears to be mid-century. On the Web at the Courtauld Institute of Art.
    • Pet-en-l'air. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, M.67.8.74a-b. On the Web at LACMA. LACMA describes this artifact as both a bed gown and a caraco:
      "France or England / Woman's Bed Gown and Petticoat, Textile: 1750-1775; reconstructed: 1770s Costume/clothing principle attire/upper body; Costume/clothing principle attire/lower body, Linen warp and cotton weft plain weave (fustian) with wool supplementary weft patterning and linen plain weave lining, a) Caraco center back length: 25 in. (63.5 cm); b) Petticoat center back length: 37 in."
      A pet-en-l'air may have been considered a kind of caraco in the 18c.
    • "jacket & pet-en-l'air", 1780-90. Accession number 1999.171. On the Web at the Manchester Art Gallery's Gallery of Costume. Pictured in Fabric of Society : A Century of People and their Clothes 1770-1870, by Jane Tozer and Sarah Levitt (a Laura Ashley publication, 1983), pp. 51-52. Undyed cotton, roller-printed with an all-over Stormont pins design in pinky brown. Note date; roller-printing is largely a post-Revolutionary technology.

    petticoat A woman's "undergarment" which covered the lower body. Throughout the third quarter of the 18th century, the extreme popularity of open gowns and shorter-than-full-length garments meant that the top petticoat was usually seen and was not really an undergarment. See the entry for quilt for examples of quilted petticoats.

    With gown-and-petticoat ensembles made from high-end fabrics, several alternatives for petticoat construction were used to save on fabric:

    • Standardly, trim was applied only to the center front section of the petticoat, where it would be visible, generally in a angled section narrower at the top and wider at the bottom, to fit the angle of the gown skirts.
    • Additionally, the back of the petticoat, or more often just the top section of the back of the petticoat, could be made of a cheaper fabric. The back of the petticoat would not generally be visible, and even if the gown were worn à la polonaise or retroussé dans les poches, the top back of the petticoat would not be visible.
    • With very high-end fabrics, a false petticoat front, in the form of an apron, was occasionally used in lieu of a complete petticoat. I don't know the period term for this article of dress. It seems likely that this was only done with heavy brocades, as not only would the false petticoat save on fabric but also on weight, and the weight of the gown would keep the gown from flying out of place and revealing the false petticoat. Examples:
      • Woman's court dress and petticoat (Robe à la Française), about 1775, Italy, center back length: 156 cm (61 7/16 in.), silk taffeta brocaded with silk and metallic threads. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 77.6a-b. On the Web at the MFA. "Lilac ground with a brocaded design of waving lines, and of white silk and gold thread, and bunches of flowers woven with bright colored silks and silver and gold thread. The over-dress hangs from the shoulders in two box-plaits, and is trimmed with gold lace and rosettes of ribbon and silk suggesting flowers. The under-dress consists of an apron, arranged so as to give the effect of an under skirt."

    petticoat breeches See also slops. A man's garment resembling breeches but much looser and without cuffs, sometimes worn by sailors over their breeches. Examples:

    pin Typical 18th century pins were of tinned brass, were about the length and thickness of modern sewing pins, and had small ball heads. They were often used to fasten clothing. Examples:

    Piemontaise Style of gown similar to a sack but with the back pleats attached at the neckline, and then free floating over the bodice and rejoining (?) the skirts. An unusual gown style.

    • Piemontaise, cream silk with blue stripes and damask pattern. On the Web at Tidens Tøj. See also pattern draft, on the Web at Tidens Tøj, dated c. 1780.

    pinner A sort of a vestigial cap that you pin to the top of your head. It usually consists of a tiny bit of flat fabric (usually roundish, often straight along the back) with a ruffle going around the sides and front. Sometimes it has lappets—two long floaty strips that hang down in back or can be pinned up on top. Pinners are much dressier than caps. Frequently all or part of the pinner is lace. They get lacier from the outside in—that is, you might have lace just on the edge of the ruffle, or just a lace ruffle, or an all-lace pinner, but you wouldn't have a lace center with a plain fabric ruffle.

    • Boucher, François. La toilette. 1742. On the Web at CGFA. The maid (or milliner?) wears a pinner on her head: flat fabric main portion, ribbon trim where ruffle is attached, fabric ruffle edged with lace. The item in her hand is probably a pinner but might be a cap.
    • Cap back (the central portion of a pinner), bobbin lace worked in linen thread, mid-18th century (made), Mechelen (made). Victoria & Albert Museum, T.50-1949. On the Web at the V&A. The V&A says: "This cap back would have been worn as part of a lace ‘head’, with matching lappets hanging down behind. Lappets formed part of a head dress, known as a ‘lace head’ in the 18th century. It was composed of a curved panel, the cap back, to which two long streamers were attached, called lappets. The whole ensemble was finished with a lace frill."

    plaid 1) A particular Scottish garment, now usually called a kilt. 2) A plain, unpatterned fabric. (Perhaps a specific kind. It's not clear to me.) 3) A tartan (1).

    • The Pennsylvania Gazette, September 22, 1763, item #31651. "THOMAS FITZSIMONS, In Chestnut street, intending to decline Business this Fall ... camblets, calimancoes, tammies, silverets, yd. wd. poplins, alopeens, Scotch plads, cross barred stuffs, silk jeans, cotton velvets, crimson, black and green long piled shags, furniture checks, leather mounted fans, chip hats, masks, umbrelloes, dressing boxes in setts, ..."

    pocket 1) For men's garments (men's coats, waistcoats, and breeches), a bag pocket stitched into the garment. 2) For women, a single pocket or a pair of pockets attached to a tie and tied around the waist underneath at least one layer of clothing. Pockets occasionally peek out from under a woman's clothing in a context of buying or selling, which may range from perfectly innocent (shopping in a market), to rapacious (selling one's sweetheart into the army for the recruiting fee), to libidinous (prostitution).

    • Rennoldson, M. The Female Orators, 1768. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 768.11.20.1. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. The bottom of the lefthand combatant's pocket is visible because she has tucked up her apron and pulled back her gown.
    • Wheatley, Francis. Engraving of a pea seller and customers, c. 1795. On the Web at the Guildhall Art Gallery, record 26569. The woman at left has pinned back her gown and held up her apron, revealing most of her pocket.
    • Collet, John. The Recruiting Sergeant, 1767. On the Web at the Hackney Mueum and at the Artchive. Pocket peeping out from under gown skirt of young woman who is selling her fiancé to a recruiting sergeant for the signing bonus.
    • Chodowiecki, Daniel Nikolaus. Tab. LVII b. Fleißige Mädchen. (Beschreibung lt. Quelle), ca. 1770. Three women work in an open-sided room. A woman who has removed her gown knits stockings; her embroidered pocket is visible. On the Web at Wikimedia Commons and at corbisimages.
    • Many pocket artifacts from a range of years. On the Web at vads: the online resource for visual arts.

    pocketbook A small folded leather or fabric case for papers and paper money, with wedge-shaped side panels that hold items in the case; that is, what we would now call a wallet (see also wallet). Fabric pocketbooks were most often worked in flame stitch (now usually called bargello) and edged in woven tape. Because of their needlework, worked pocketbooks may survive in disproportionate quantities. Pocketbooks were apparently most often carried by men, but were sometimes carried by women. Examples:

    • "Purse" (pocketbook); fourth quarter 18th century; American; wool, linen, silk; dimensions: 4 1/2 x 7 in. (11.4 x 17.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.1835. On the Web at the Costume Institute of the Met. Marks: Inscribed in ink: "Made by Deborah Hill for Grandmother Schenck" Embroidered initials: "D ? H". Worked in flame stitch.
    • "Purse" (pocketbook); fourth quarter 18th century; American; silk, paper; dimensions: 4 3/4 x 8 in. (12.1 x 20.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.1744. On the Web at the Costume Institute of the Met. Worked in queen's stitch.
    • "Purse" (pocketbook); fourth quarter 18th century; American; silk, paper; dimensions: 3 1/2 x 5 in. (8.9 x 12.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.1748. On the Web at the Costume Institute of the Met. Silk satin embroidered with silk(?), silk ribbon, and sequins.
    • "Purse" (pocketbook); late 18th century; European; silk, linen, metal; dimensions: 6 1/2 x 4 1/4 in. (16.5 x 10.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009.300.2081. On the Web at the Costume Institute of the Met. Worked in needlepoint.
    • "Purse" (pocketbook); late 18th century; French; silk, metal; length: 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, C.I.59.30.2. On the Web at the Costume Institute of the Met. Worked in silk and metal embroidery in a neoclassical design.

    pocket handkerchief What we now call a handkerchief. In the 18th century, "handkerchief" generally referred to a neck handkerchief.

    polonaise A specific cut of gown involving, among other features, a cutaway front bodice, the bodice cut in one with the skirts, and, typically and famously, the skirts pulled up to form large poufs of fabric in back and on the sides by means of cords, buttons, ties, or whatever means. See The 18th Century Robe à la Polonaise: Research Summary by Kendra Van Cleave. The polonaise probably developed from the style of retroussé dans les poches. Normally, the gown skirts were pulled up in two places on either side of the back in order to form three poufs, but there are very rare examples of gown skirts pulled up in four places to form five poufs. The bottoms of the poufs fall at approximately the same height off the ground or the front poufs are shorter than the back poufs.

    Any open style of gown may be worn "polonaised"—that is, with the skirts pulled up into poufs à la polonaise—but only a gown in the polonaise cut is truly a polonaise. When the skirts of an English gown or sack are polonaised, the bottoms of the poufs fall at approximately the same height off the ground, or less often the front poufs are shorter; it is a reenactorism to leave the front corners full length while pulling up the back pouf high, as if the skirts were a theater curtain framing one's fundament.

    Examples:

      polonaise
      Moreau le Jeune. Rendez-vous pour Marly. Boehn. On the Web at La Couturière Parisienne (image) and at Hum Box. Both women wear polonaise jackets. Note the unusual polonaising of the petticoat of the woman on the left.
      Vigée Le Brun, Elisabeth Louise. Standing Woman Holding a Sheet of Music. 1772. On the Web at the Bat Guano Museum of Art and at La Couturière Parisienne.
      Vigée Le Brun, Elisabeth Louise. La reine Marie Antoinette dans le parc de Versailles. 1780. On the Web at the Bat Guano Museum of Art (image).
      gown with skirts a la polonaise and retro Renaissance styling
      Gainsborough. The Honourable Mrs Graham. 1775-77. National Gallery, Edinborough. On the Web at Olga's Gallery.
      gowns with skirts a la polonaise
      Two ladies in the newest dress: From drawings taken at Ranelagh, May 1775, 1775. Published by G. Robinson June 1, 1775. On the Web at Dames a la Mode. On the left is an English gown seen from the back and on the right is a sack seen from the side; both have their skirts drawn up a la polonaise.
      sack gown with buttons for polonaising
      "Robe à la française (sack gown) worn over the grand panier (wide hoop), circa 1778-1780, cream silk brocaded with polychrome flower sprigs. ... Two buttons at the back make it possible to lift the gown 'en polonaise' ..." On the Web at Sarl Coutau-Bégarie, Commissaire Priseur, auction of Textiles anciens des princes de ligne of 14 Jan 2004; see also front view. Sack gowns were not generally worn à la polonaise because the fastening of the polonaise loops would disturb the lines of the gown. This late style of sack has very narrow sack pleats and has the bodice back cut very deeply toward the center back, leaving a neat space to attach buttons to, to loop up the skirt à la polonaise, without disturbing the lines of the sack back.

    pompon A knot or cluster of ribbons, flowers, jewels, feathers, and/or similar materials, sometimes worn in the hair as a decoration in lieu of a cap or pinner when dressed very finely.

    • William Hogarth (1697-1764). David Garrick & his Wife, 1757. On the Web at CGFA and at the Art Renewal Center (image). Mrs. Garrick wears a pompon in her hair. Her hair is dressed low with a braid wrapped around her head. Also of interest is her handkerchief, twisted in a very loose Steinkirk style, and her miniatures.
    • Allan Ramsay. Portrait of Martha, Countess of Elgin, 1762. On the Web at Olga's Gallery. The countess wears a spray of flowers, probably artificial, as a pompon.
    • Copley, John Singleton. Mrs. Samuel Henley (Katherine Russell), about 1765. On the Web at the MFA. Mrs. Henley wears flowers, probably artificial, as a pompon. This artwork may not be entirely realistic; her pinned sash(?) is not typical of rococo dress.

    pudding cap or pudding A padded cap worn by toddlers to protect the head from bumps. Generally consists of a padded band around the head, often shaped slightly, with tapes or padded bands crisscrossing over the top.

    • Chardin, Jean Siméon. The Young Governess, c. 1739. On the Web at the National Gallery of Art; detail of cap. This slightly unusual pudding appears to consist of a matching padded band over a patterned cap.
    • Rokotov, Fyodor (Russian, 1736–1809). First count Bobrinsky in infancy, ca. 1763. On the Web at Wikimedia Commons. Pudding cap with black velvet(?) band and wide red ribbon ties attached to the band in large rosettes. (Is the pinafore a Russian fashion?)
    • Zoffany, Johann. Prinz Ludwig von Parma (1773-1803) mit seinen drei ältesten Geschwistern Karoline (1770-1804), Marie Antonie (1774-1841) und Charlotte (1777-1813), 1778. On the Web at Wikimedia. Pudding cap on girl at right.

    purse A pouch for coins or other small items. Of various forms, including long, narrow, cylindrical bags and short, squat cylindrical, round, or flat bags or pouches. Examples:

    Q

    quilt 1) A bedcovering made of two layers of fabric with batting between them, stitched in patterns to hold the layers together. Research is still out on how often quilts were made of small shapes of different fabrics pieced together in designs, but as the debate is between "virtually never" and "very rarely", reenactors should avoid pieced quilts. (Obviously, a quilt could be pieced together from larger pieces, just as any garment could be, to deal with a lack of fabric or a lack of fabric width.) 2) Short for "quilted petticoat".

    Examples of quilted petticoats:

    R

    retroussé dans les poches Refers to pulling the hem of the gown inside, up, and out through the pocket slit. This could keep the garment out of the way while working, but is also charmingly attractive. Possibly spread from the working classes to the upper classes and then evolved into polonaising. I have not found any examples of petticoats pulled up this way—only gowns—which is not too good for the theory of this style starting with the working class. However, you do find common gowns and petticoats "rucked up" (perhaps only a modern term), by which I mean haphazardly pulled up and tucked up inside under the waistband, usually in front or at front and sides, but sometimes all around or in other ways. Examples of gowns retroussé dans les poches:

    Examples of gowns or petticoats "rucked up":

    • Aubry, Etienne (French). Farewell to the Wet Nurse. 1777. On the Web at the Clark Art Institute Museum Shop. The wet nurse's petticoat is rucked up in back and at the sides.
    • Wheatley, Francis. Engraving of match sellers, c. 1794. On the Web at the Guildhall Art Gallery, record 26559; color version at the Guildhall Art Gallery, record 26566, "Match sellers standing in the street, with a dog in the foreground and a coach behind." The front bottom edges appear to be tucked in inside the gown, possibly up at the waistline.

    (riding) habit Woman's jacket, styled somewhat like a man's coat, often with a matching petticoat and a complementary waistcoat or false waistcoat front. The riding habit was worn not only for riding, but also as general traveling clothes and even as general day dress (as opposed to evening dress). Like a man's coat, the riding habit has a relatively narrow neck opening in front and a high neckline in back; it may or may not have lapels; it frequently has buttonholes, which may be false; it may have full skirts or be cut away. Unlike a man's coat, a habit coat generally has a waist seam or partial waist seam to accommodate a woman's hips and petticoats, and a fish above the bustline to accommodate a woman's bust. The habit is worn with an abbreviated shirt whose neck construction resembles a man's shirt; the habit shirt is worn over the shift and stays. Examples:

    riding hood Evidence is lacking, but this appears to have been either a hood with a substantial cape, or a short cloak with a hood.

    • Trial of Alexander Russel, 1731. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London 1674 to 1834, Ref: t17310115-62. On the Web at same. Note that the text refers to the garment as a "riding hood or cloak" and describes it as having armholes (probably arm slits), meaning that the body was long enough to have armholes.
      Alexander Russel, of St. Margaret's Westminster, was indicted ...
      He was indicted a second Time, of St. Margaret's Westminster, for assaulting Anne Roberts , on the High-way, putting her in Fear, and taking from her a Riding-Hood, value 3 s. the 25th of December last.
      Anne Roberts depos'd, That on Christmas-Day at Night, as she was going along the Old Palace-Yard, Westminster, the Prisoner clapt his Hand cross her Eyes, she crying out, ho caught her by the Throat, and had almost strangled her, and violently pull'd off her Riding-Hood, and tore it at the Arm Holes in pulling it off; that coming into the Church-Yard, and meeting two Men, and she complaining that she had been Robbed, they said they had met a Man running, and she was well off it was no worse with her, and so she went Home, she added, that she could not swear to the Prisoner; but hearing a Man had been taken up for a Robbery near that place, and about the same time, and that there was a Ridinghood at the Constable's House, she went thither, and found it to be her Ridinghood.
      Thomas Saunders , the Constable, depos'd, That the Ridinghood was given him at the Justice's House, by one Clay, that then the Prisoner would not own that he knew any thing of it; that the Prosecutor coming to his House, he shew'd her the Hood, and she said the Hood was hers.
      James Clay depos'd, That when the Prisoner was apprehended, he perceiving something bulky within the Breast of his Coat, not knowing but he might have Arms, examined what it was, and found it was a Ridinghood or Cloak, and that the Prisoner said it was his Wife's; and that as he was going before the Justice, he dropp'd it.
      Francis Jones depos'd, That he hearing the out-cry ran, and going before the Justice, saw the Ridinghood hang between the Prisoner's Legs, and it dropp'd down.
      Jane Cook depos'd, That the Prisoner had the Cloak in his Bosom, and as he was going before the Justice, he dropp'd it, and it fell between his Legs, and a Boy that follow'd him took it up, and that she was just behind the Boy.
      William Sims depos'd, That as he was following the Prisoner to the Justice, he saw the Cloak drop down between the Prisoner's Legs, and he stoop'd and took it up. The Fact being plainly proved, the Jury found him Guilty of the Indictment. Death
    • Estate inventory of Elizabeth Amsden (1724–1768), Jan 20, 1768. Memorial Hall, Deerfield, MA, accession #L00.025. "1 Blue Silk Gown, 1 do Changable Colour, 2 Chinee do, 1 silk Crape do, 1 Russel Do, 1 Cotton & linn Do, 1 Callamanco Do, 1 Riding habbet, 1 cambelt Riding hood, 1 black Capuchine Cloak, 2 Red Broadcloth Do, 1 Velvet bunnet, 4 Quilted petticoats, 4 under Coats [petticoats], 3 Checd Aprons, 2 Linsy wolsy Do, 3 White Hollon Do, 2 Holn handkerchiefs, 2 lasd Do, 1 lasd Cambrick Cap, 2 plain Lawn Do, 4 hollon Do, 1 fan, 2 pr Mits, 1 Velvet hood, 1 Silk Do, 1 Gause Vail, 5 pr stockens, 2 pr shoes, 1 pr Silver Buckels, 1 pr Stone Buttons set in Silver, 1 plain gold ring, 3 hollon shifts, 3 linn Do, 2 pr stays, 2 checd handkerchiefs."

    robe à l'anglaise or nightgown A long gown with the bodice back fitted to the body. The gown may be en fourreau. Possibly it may instead have a set-in waist, or perhaps this was not called a robe à l'anglaise. (If a gown with a set-in waist isn't called a robe à l'anglaise, then what is it called? Such gowns are usually polonaised, in which case you can call them polonaises, but what about when they aren't polonaised?)

    robe à la française. See sacque.

    robe battante French word for an early 18c loose version of a sacque, which see.

    robings Folds or strips of fabric along the front edges of a gown with an open bodice. Is sometimes spelled "robins" in period text. Early in the century, robings were folds in the gown fabric along the bodice edge that released into the skirt; later, they were usually cut separately and applied to the edge of the bodice. Robings often had trim applied to them, such as ruching. Robings are usually cut from the same fabric as the gown, but there are a few rare depictions of gowns with robings and cuffs (or cuff facings?) of the same fabric but not of the main gown fabric, and slightly more written descriptions of contrasting robings and cuffs middle and lower class women; this was a brief fashion.

    • Morland, Henry Robert (British, 1716-1797). A Lady's Maid Soaping Linen, circa 1765-82. On the Web at the Tate and different version at CGFA.
    • Gainsborough, Thomas. Portrait of Henrietta Vernon (Lady Grosvenor, wife of Richard, first Earl Grosvenor), 1766-67. On the Web at CGFA. Robings trimmed with ruching, on sack gown with compère.
    • Hogarth, William. Before and After. While upper class robings match the gown, some descriptions of lower class runaways mention contrasting robings, and a rare example in art can be seen in Hogarth's Before and After. On the Web at Andy's Early Comics Archive.

    round gown A particular style of gown where the bodice has a front closure and laps over the skirt, which is closed; that is, it completely encircles the body. Since the skirt is entirely closed, one must either step into the gown or put it on over the head; next you tie the skirt closed; finally you close the bodice over it. Compare "closed gown"; contrast "open gown". Examples:

    S

    sacque or sack (back) (gown), negligee, robe à la française A long gown with pleated fabric stitched down at the neckline and sometimes for a few inches down from the back neckline and hanging free from there to the hem. This fabric is stacked in multiple deep pleats. At the beginning of the 18th century, the gown hung freely from the shoulders front and back and was called a robe battante. Soon it became fitted in front by means of a back lining to which the back fabric was not attached except at the seams. Eventually, the back was stitched down a short way down from the neckline and the back became fitted as well by means of being tacked to the lining, with only the folds hanging free. Long after the Revolutionary period, this style came to be called "Watteau" because Watteau depicted it so well (see Gersaint's Sign Shop on the Web at Jim's Fine Art Collection and at the Artchive (detail)), but this is not a period term. The typical sack is trimmed with S-curving or straight gathered, ruched, or poufed trim around the neckline down the robings to the waist, and similar but wider trim down the front of the gown. Sometimes there is narrow trim at the edge of the front opening (bodice and/or skirt) with wider trim beside it. The petticoat is nearly always made from the same fabric as the gown and is typically trimmed with a wide applied flounce, plus narrower flounces or S-curving or straight gathered, ruched, or poufed trim both above and below the main flounce; this trim is typically only on the part of the petticoat which shows in front; not only is the rest of the petticoat typically untrimmed, but sometimes the top back of the petticoat, which does not show even when the gown is worn retroussé dans les poches, is not only untrimmed but also of a cheaper fabric. Examples:

    • de Troy, Jean François. La Lecture de Molière. 1730. On the Web at artnet.com and a blurry version at the WebMuseum, Paris. These early sacks are very loose, flowing freely from the shoulders and with wide and fairly long sleeves.
    • de Troy, Jean François. The Declaration of Love, 1731. On the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Again, loose, flowing freely from the shoulders and with wide and fairly long sleeves. Note the large size of the pattern on the brocade gown—such large patterns are entirely out of fashion by the 1770s and 1780s and appear only in gowns reworked from old fabric for the purpose of economy. The women's tête de mouton hairstyles (short, tight curls) are also typical of their decade.
    • de Troy, Jean François. A Hunting Meal. 1737. On the Web at the Web Gallery of Art. These early sacks are very loose, flowing freely from the shoulders, yet the sleeves are relatively tight and short.
    • Boucher, François. La toilette. 1742. On the Web at CGFA. This fairly early sack (on the woman at the right), worn retroussé dans les poches, hangs free from the shoulders but appears to be well fitted to the body.
    • Sack-back gown with petticoat, 1760–1765 with some 19c added trim. London (made), China (silk woven). Victoria & Albert Museum, T.593:1 to 5-1999. On the Web at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Painted silk, sewn with silk thread. Slight train. To be worn with wide and very square hoops.
    • Robe à la française, ca. 1765, French or Austrian, pale blue silk satin brocaded with silver, 2001.472. On the Web at the Met.
    • British School. Mrs Cadoux. Circa 1770. On the Web at the Tate Gallery. This late-style sack is fitted front and back, and is probably stitched down from the top for a few inches in back, and, as is typical for this date, has sleeve ruffles and engageantes. The robings would have been more common earlier but are not unusual at this time. Typical trimmings. Very unusual in having a non-matching petticoat.
    • Fragonard, Jean-Honoré. The Love Letter. About 1770. Metropolitan, New York. On the Web at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the Web Gallery of Art. Late-style sack, fitted front and back, stitched down from the top for a few inches in back, with sleeve ruffles and engageantes.
    • Copley, John Singleton. Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Izard (Ralph Izard & Alice Delancey). 1775, oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. On the Web at the CGFA. Fitted all around but with robings and with the pleats hardly stitched down in back, which is (slightly) surprising in such a late gown, especially since the sleeves are trimmed not with sleeve ruffles, but with the newer style of multiple rows of gathered fabric (which would soon develop into a single piece of fabric, sometimes self fabric and sometimes muslin/gauze, with multiple lines of shirring; see V&A, T.92&A-1972 under cuff). Quite possibly the gown was older, and altered by converting sleeve ruffles to ruching.
    • Sack-back gown with petticoat, 1770–1779. Great Britain (made), silk with linen (lining). Victoria & Albert Museum, T.471 to B-1980. On the Web at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Striped satin with chenille embroidered flower sprays. Slight train.
    • Dress (Robe à la Française), 1770–1790. French (probably), silk. Metropolitan Museum of Art, C.I.64.33a-c. On the Web at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Crossbarred silk was not especially common, but several artifacts of crossbarred silk gowns exist. This artifact is very unusual for having not just a matching petticoat but an alternative jacket (a pet-en-l'air) of the same fabric.
    • Sack-back gown with petticoat, 1775–1780. France (probably, made). Victoria & Albert Museum, T.180&A-1965. On the Web at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Silk satin, embroidered with chenille thread and ribbon, trimmed with satin, silk bobbin lace, feathers and raffia tassels, lined with silk and linen. Slight train. To be worn over wide, very square hoops. The narrow back pleats are a feature of the late date of this sack.

    shawl This word was not in common use until well after the American Revolution. The first (and only) usage in the on-line Pennsylvania Gazette dates to 1790. According to Oxford English Dictionary citations, the word was originally used, even before the American Revolution, specifically in reference to imported Kashmir shawls. Instead of "shawl", use "handkerchief", "short cloak", "mantle", "tippet", mantelet, pelisse, or arisaid depending on the cut of the garment you are referring to. As for whether garments of this sort existed, there do not appear to have been any made to shape; that is, rectangular garments woven to shape and finished with fringe or hemming. Of course, any length of cloth could have been pressed into service on the spur of the moment. I have encountered dozens and dozens of cloaks, short cloaks, and handkerchiefs in art, but only one rectangular wrap, on a Scottish lowlander, the Edinburgh Lacewoman by David Allan, drawn in 1784 (see Before the Clearances: 17th and 18th Century Scottish Costume for more information on this artwork and its context, and for information on arisaids). Well, okay, I can cite one anomalous example of what looks like a shawl: The Erskine Family Group by David Allan, 1783, in Paintings of the British Social Scene: From Hogarth to Sickert by E.D.H. Johnson; also at The Georgian Family and the Parental Role (The New Child: British Art and the Origins of Modern Childhood: An exhibition at the University Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, UC Berkeley August 23 - November 19, 1995). In this painting, a young woman holds a baby; she and the baby are covered by a shawl(?) with patterned, fringed ends; she is coiffed in very forward-looking fashion with a fringe of bangs over her forehead and her hair falling in loose curls on the nape of her neck, and a ribbon in her hair but no cap. Or maybe her anomalous dress has something to do with her being Scottish; I don't know. (Also, I can cite several Italian examples—see assorted works by Pietro Longhi)—but the focus of this glossary is American and British terminology and costume, not Italian.)

    Post RevWar shawls:

    • Wright of Derby, Joseph. Rev. Thomas Gisborne and His Wife Mary, 1786. On the Web at Olga's Gallery. Mrs. Gisborne's dress has several pseudo-classical/oriental elements: the shawl, the turban, and the sash.
    • Peale, Charles Willson (American). Mrs. Thomas Elliott (Mary Chew), 1787. Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia. On the Web at the Chrysler Museum of Art.

    shift A woman's underwear. The French word chemise was not used by English speakers until well after the American Revolution. Shift sleeves were approximately 3/4 long early in the century, shortened to just past elbow length as gown sleeves shortened to this length around the American Revolution, and became even shorter with neoclassical gowns at the end of the century. Shift sleeves started out wide and full and gradually narrowed through the century; the same is true of shift bodies although to a lesser extent (they were never as full). Shift sleeves ended in a cuff with two buttonholes and were fastened with linked buttons or a tie; when shift sleeves became very narrow, the cuff was left off. Shift necklines were cut low to match gown necklines; handkerchiefs were used to cover the decolletage if desired.

    • Dance-Holland, Sir Nathaniel, 1735-1811. A Girl Seated, in a Flowered Dress. On the Web at the Tate. Her gown sleeves are short enough that you can see her narrow shift cuffs and the narrow ruffle applied to the cuffs. The somewhat unusual way in which her cap ruffle is applied (loose at both sides, stitched slightly off from the center line) echoes the ruffles on her gown sleeves. The gown bodice closes center front with buttons—the only such example I have seen.
    • Greuze, Jean-Baptiste (b. 1725, Tournus, d. 1805, Paris). The Broken Pitcher. 1771. On the Web at the Web Gallery of Art. In this unsubtle allegory of lost virginity, we can see wide shift sleeves gathered into cuffs that are only just long enough to enclose the seam, and the nearly ungathered neckline ruffle that appears fairly frequently on French shifts.
    • Lépicié, Nicolas-Bernard. Le Lever de Fanchon, 1773. On the Web at All Art, at the Bridgeman Art Library and at AllPosters. There appear to be straps falling off her shoulders which belong to jumps or a corset blanc. This painting is chock full of great artifacts: the shift, the stocking, the striped petticoats, the chair, the bedstead, the jacket(?) with striped lining(?), the wide tape on the floor which might be a garter, the shoe by it, the striped blanket on the bed, broom, barrel, candle in holder on top of book, ... There's a cat on the floor by her foot. Every detail is painted down to the wood grain in the boards behind the head of the bedstead.
    • The fond parents. London : Printed for R. Sayer & J. Bennett No. 53 Fleet Street as the act directs, 16 Sepr. 1776. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 766.09.16.01+. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Digital Collection. A tiny bit of the shift is visible above the gown around part of the neckline. There is no visible gathering.

    shirt A man's underwear. Shirt sleeves started out wide and full and gradually narrowed through the century; the same may be true of shirt bodies. Shirt bodies were often left separate a small way up the side and the back panel was frequently somewhat longer; this made it possible to pull the shirt tail through the legs for extra warmth, protection from chafing, or whatever. Shirt cuffs and collars were generally narrow but widened toward the end of the century. Cuffs could fasten with a button and buttonhole, or with two buttonhole fastened with linked buttons. A single button fastened the collar. An upper class boy's shirt often had a falling collar with pronounced ruffle. Examples:

    Men sometimes had the neck slit of their shirt edged with a ruffle of fine fabric or lace on one or both sides. Shirts with ruffles along the neck slit:

    • Perronneau, Jean-Baptiste (French). Le graveur Gabriel Huquier, c. 1747. On the Web at Insecula. Very fine muslin or gauze ruffle edging both sides of shirt's neck slit.
    • de la Tour, Maurice-Quentin. Le peintre Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin, c. 1761. On the Web at Insecula. Lace edging along both sides of shirt's neck slit.
    • Capt. Calipash & Mrs. Calipee M.D. fec., 1777. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 777.10.28.01+. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. Possible a lace ruffle, but more likely a plain linen ruffle with the hem line drawn very clearly. The print is a satire, and it is possible that a man of this station might have worn a less ostentatious ruffle; it is likely he would have worn some sort of ruffle or it wouldn't be included in the print.
    • RWu3d- Col. William Ledyard's linen shirt csl. On the Web at the Military and Historical Image Bank. Narrow cuffs, wide two-button collar, narrow linen ruffle along neck slit. Allegedly the shirt worn by Col. Ledyard of the Connecticut militia when he was killed in the 40th's assault on Fort Griswold in 1781.

    Sometimes, a brooch was used to fasten the neck slit:

    • Chandler, Winthrop. Judge Ebenezer Devotion, 1772. Lyman Allen Art Museum (United States). On the Web at the Athenaeum.
    • Peale, Charles Willson. Otho Holland Williams, 1782–84. On the Web at the National Park Service and at Wikimedia Commons. Masonic buckle at side of shirt ruffles. From the NPS site: "The museum portrait appears to be a copy of a similar portrait (destroyed in 1977) painted for the Williams family. The museum replica lacks both the life portrait's background material (a classical temple labeled "MARS," which represents the Williams' military prowess) and a Society of the Cincinnati eagle medal. Peale also changed the color of Williams's stock (neckcloth) from black (in the life portrait) to white (in the replica)." Original portrait or other copy, as a miniature, on the Web at IMAGO Colby College Libraries.

    Upper class boys' shirts:

    short cloak Short version of a cloak. For common women, typically wrist length although they could be somewhat shorter or longer. Fancy short cloaks, worn by the upper classes and by common women with reason to dress above their station (mantua makers, milliners, procuresses, whores, and perhaps lady's maids) sometimes or always went by other names such as "mantle", "pelerine", "capuchin", and perhaps "riding hood" and "hood".

    • The knowing one taken in, c. 1760. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 760.0.7. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. A very typical short cloak in every way.
    • Sandby, Paul. no title (view of two spoon sellers). 1760. At the Guildhall Art Gallery, record 26303.
    • Rennoldson, M. The Female Orators, 1768. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 768.11.20.1. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. Both combatants wear short cloaks, both with collars of two separate layers and with ties at the neck. The left one's ties are long enough to cross in front and pass behind the waist.
    • Walton, Henry. Market Girl (The Silver Age), c. 1776–77. Yale Center for British Art, Hartford, Connecticut, USA. On the Web at the Yale Center for British Art and at the Artchive. This short cloak is unusually in several ways: It is large—perhaps the short cloak is sized for an adult. The hood is worn under the bonnet. And there is ribbon trim along the front edge of the hood; this is probably a binding, sewn right sides together, very narrowly, on the outside, and then turned and tacked on the inside (compare a cloak described at the Golden Scissors blog), but the outside of the hood is not visible so we can't be sure.

    shortgown Reenactor spelling of short gown (1).

    short gown 1) A particular style of woman's garment, cut in a T shape (sometimes with gussets at the lower side seams) and slit down the front, and loosely fitted to the body at the neck by means of a casing and string, or pleats, and at the waist by means of a casing and string or by lapping and pinning the front edges. See Short Gowns by Kidwell. I haven't found any examples of this garment being referred to as a "shortgown" (no space). This garment appears to have first surfaced in the mid-Atlantic region before the Revolution, particularly among Germans and Quakers, and later spread throughout the United States, probably not until after the end of the Revolution. Versions with casings and drawstrings probably date to the Federal/Regency/Empire period. Any drawstrings at necklines provide only slight adjustment to fit. 2) Any gown which is short, meaning not full length. For example, a pet-en-l'air, or a robe à l'anglaise which has simply been made (or cut) to three-quarter length. It is unlikely that short (pause) gowns were referred to as shortgowns (no space). Actually, we're having a little trouble right now finding instances of short gowns (meaning gowns which are short) other than pets-en-l'air. These probably are, though: November 22, 1764, The Pennsylvania Gazette, ITEM #34662, "RUN away from the Subscriber hereof, living in Pilesgrove, Salem County, Providence of West new Jersey, two servants, [...] a Girl, born in Ireland, and came over about two Years ago, [...] about 20 Years of Age, [...] had on a slanting short red and white Calicoe Gown ..."; December 3, 1767, The Pennsylvania Gazette, ITEM #41572, "RUN away from the Subscriber, in Hill Town, Bucks County, an indented Servant Girl [...]; had on, when she went away, a short white Linen Gown".

    skeleton suit A post-Revolutionary War upper class boy's article of dress consisting of a ditto suit of trousers and a short coat or jacket with a wide collar, worn open, over a shirt with a wide, ruffled collar.

    • Beechey, Sir William. Portrait of Sir Francis Ford's Children Giving a Coin to a Beggar Boy, exhibited 1793. On the Web at the Tate. The upper class boy wears a skeleton suit which includes trousers.

    skirt 1) Often plural. The part of a garment which hangs below the waist. For example, the skirts of a coat, jacket, gown. 2) Non-standard term for a petticoat. Although there are some examples of the word "skirt" being used to mean "petticoat" (see The Pennsylvania Gazette), the normal and usual term was clearly petticoat.

    slattern A woman who is careless in her dress; that is, who does not trouble to dress fashionably or neatly (which was a much greater social fault in the 18th century than in modern times). A slattern's clothing is likely to be ill-fitted, mismatched, old, worn, dirty, and/or torn.

    sleeveless bodice (modern) A bodice (3) without sleeves. Not an 18th century garment, at least not in Great Britain, France (except possibly as part of some highly specialized regional peasant costume), and the American colonies. See The Mythical Bodice by Ingrid Schaaphok in the Brigade Courier, Nov/Dec 1999. Some sleeveless upper body garments did exist—such as stays, jumps, waistcoats, and elements of masquerade costume—but they are cut differently from what we know as "sleeveless bodices" and are limited in the circumstances in which they can be worn.

    sleeve links or sleeve buttons A pair of buttons with linked loops on their backs, passed through buttonholes on each side of a cuff, in order to fasten it. Both men and women could use sleeve links to fasten their shirt or shift cuffs, although it is not clear how frequently they were used. Alternatively, men might use a single button and buttonhole, and women might tie a string through the buttonholes in their shift cuff. Examples:

    sleeve ruffle Shaped trim of fine lace and/or sheer white fabric, tacked into the ends of women's gown and jacket sleeves, particularly in the third quarter of the century, generally under flounces. Single ruffles were used first, then double, then triple, before ruffles were abandoned in the shift toward neoclassical dress. Ruffles could be quite large, but when worn with cuffs, they were restrained in size and only a single ruffle was worn. Examples:

    • Copley, John Singleton (American, 1738-1815, active in Great Britain from 1774). Mrs. Richard Skinner (Dorothy Wendell), 1772. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. On the Web at CGFA (image). Note that her right shift sleeve, with narrow, lightly-gathered ruffle, peeks out from under the gown sleeve and engageantes.
    • Copley, John Singleton. Mrs John Winthrop, 1773. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. On the Web at Web Gallery of Art. Her engageantes are part lace: medium width strips of lace are sewn onto fine plain muslin.
    • John Singleton Copley, American, 1738-1815. Mercy Otis Warren, about 1763. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 31.212. On the Web at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Fine lace strips are sewn onto gauze-weight fabric.
    • John Singleton Copley (1738 - 1815). Elizabeth Allen Stevens, ca. 1757. On the Web at Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey. Her engageantes are part lace: narrowish strips of lace are sewn onto huge engageantes of fine plain muslin. I have to say, the effect of the engageantes under the square cuffs, and the vast sea of pink of her gown, and her none-too-straight posture, make a rather unattractive impression. From the look on her face, she knows it, too.
    • Engageante, circa 1750. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Probably France. Linen Dresden work on cotton, 6 1/2 x 34 in. (16.51 x 86.36 cm). Costume Council Fund (M.64.85.10a). On the Web at LACMA. Second engageante of pair on the Web at LACMA.
    • Pair of Engageantes, circa 1750. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Probably France. Cotton embroidery and pulled work on cotton with bobbin lace edging, 5 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 48 in. (13.34 x 31.75 x 121.92 cm) each. Costume Council Fund (M.84.16.1a-b). On the Web at LACMA.
    • Pair of Engageantes, circa 1760. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Probably England. Linen embroidery (satin and darning stitches) on cotton ground, 13 3/4 x 7 3/8 in. (34.93 x 18.73 cm) each. Costume Council Fund (M.81.143.4a-b). On the Web at LACMA.
    • Sleeve ruffle, 1740–1770. Manchester Art Gallery, 1951.428a/2. "White muslin, three shaped falls of gradated widths, each widening from narrow top; gathered together on narrow linen tape; each edge embroidered with small scallops and trailing stem and scattered sprays in white silk satin stitch and varieties of drawn and openwork." On the Web at the Manchester Art Gallery. Unusual example of whitework with eyelets in a manner somewhat resembling modern eyelet.
    • Sleeve ruffle, 1765–1775. Manchester Art Gallery, 1965.158. "Embroidered muslin and lace. Two shaped frills of muslin, edged with bobbin (Mechlin) lace, each gathered separately onto 1.3cm tape and tacked together." On the Web at the Manchester Art Gallery.
    • Sleeve ruffle, 1765–1775. Manchester Art Gallery, 1953.71. On the Web at the Manchester Art Gallery.
    • Pair of Engageantes, late 18th century. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Western Europe. Linen embroidery (chainstitch) and pulled threadwork on muslin with linen bobbin lace edging, 2 1/4 x 7 1/2 x 35 in. (5.72 x 19.05 x 88.9 cm) each. Costume Council Fund (M.84.63.1a-b). On the Web at LACMA.
    • Wheatley, Francis. Family Group, c. 1775/1780. On the Web at the National Gallery of Art. Sheer engageantes trimmed with with ruching(?). See detail image.

    slippers Shoes without backs. Sometimes called "mules". Examples:

    • Boucher, François. La toilette. 1742. On the Web at CGFA. Both women wear slippers. Out of many examples of women's slippers, I have yet to see any without raised heels.
    • British School 18th century 100-1799. A Family Group in a Garden, circa 1754. On the Web at the Tate. The father wears slippers without heels. This is the only example of men's slippers I've noticed so far; I don't know if the flat soles are typical or not.
    • Gainsborough, Thomas. Mr and Mrs Andrews, 1748-1749. On the Web at the Art Renewal Center and at CGFA. Mrs. Andrews wears slippers.

    slops See also petticoat breeches. The term "slops" was used for petticoat breeches and also more generally for a variety of loose outer garments and ready-made clothing supplied to seamen from ship's stores.

    smock 1. A man's loose overshirt. While in the 19th and 20th centuries it was common to control the fullness at the top of the body and sleeves by pleating the fabric finely and oversewing the pleats with the stitching called "smocking", this was not done in the 18th century (unless possibly, rarely, very late in the century), and the fullness if any was left loose.

    2. (archaic) 17th century term for a woman's shift, still in use in a few outlying areas, and seen more broadly in the term "smock race'" meaning a woman's foot race with a shift as the winner's prize.

    • Collett, John. An Holland smock to be run for, by any woman born in this country . . ., 1770. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 770.0.38. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. The full caption is: "An Holland Smock to be run for, by any woman born in this County: The best Woman in three Heats. NB. The Runners all to be enter'd by the Clerk of the Course before starting and after the Race; Cocking as usual.". The Holland smock is visible hanging from the high branches of a tree, tied by its cuffs to a pole decorated with two cocked hats. One runner is in the center of the picture, another has fallen just to her right, and a faster runner can be seen between two tree trunks.

    socks Pretty much the same in the 18th century as now. Socks were very rarely worn; the standard garment was stockings. Socks and stockings are not the same thing: socks end below the knee and stockings go up over the knee.

    spectacles Pretty much the same in the 18th century as now, but limited in forms. Through the end of the Revolutionary War, spectacles were made with round frames; oval lenses came in at some point after this in the 18th century. (There is still some debate over a couple of oval examples that may pre-date the AWI.) "Temple spectacles" had short side bars ending in circles which held on the spectacles by pressing against the temples. Longer, jointed side pieces became available in the 1760s but temple spectacles remained quite popular. Frames were most often steel. Lenses were usually clear, but green, blue-green, and green lenses were also used, and possibly, rarely, other colors.

    stay hook Colonial American English: Words and Phrases found in Colonial Writing, now Archaic, Obscure, Obsolete, or Whose Meaning Have Changed by Richard M. Lederer, Jr, published by Verbatim Books, 1985, p. 221: "Stay hook: A hook attached to stays on which a watch or locket might be hung." Handbook of English Costume in the 18th Century by C. Willett Cunnington, 1964 edition: "Stay Hooks of silver set with stones, were hooked to the front of the corset and used for suspending a watch chain." Women's Life and Work in the Southern Colonies by Julia Spruill, pp. 124–25: "an ornamental hook fastened into the edge of the bodice upon which the lady hung her watch and etui or housewife."

    stays A woman's support garment, stiffened with whalebone, cane, wood splints, or similar material. Stays could be be fully or partly boned; compare jumps which are less stiffened. Most stays were back-lacing only, but a few laced front and back. Only one example has been found which laces front only. Stays are standardly laced with a single lace. It was the norm throughout Britain, France, and the American colonies to wear stays (or jumps), with the possible exception of backcountry areas such as the southwestern Colonial frontier (e.g., backwoods Carolina) (but data is lacking). It was the norm to wear stays beneath other clothing (gown, jacket, etc.) except while engaged in heavy labor such as laundry, again with the possible exception of backcountry areas but data is lacking. Examples:

    • At Bissonnette on Costume Subject Search; The Lingerie Collection: 1700 to 1799:
      • Circa 1700-99 Tan linen stays with back lacing. Quilted and boned all over. No shoulder straps. Triangular tabs at hips. Silverman/Rodgers Collection KSUM 1983.1.2481. Front, profile, back. Note that the stays have been laced incorrectly; the lacing holes clearly are intended to use the standard single lacing style.
    • Tight lacing, or, Fashion before ease from the original picture by John Collet in the possession of the proprietors. Printed for & sold by Bowles & Carver ... No.69 in St. Pauls Church Yard, London, [ca. 1777, printed ca. 1812]. The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 777.00.00.10+. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection.
    • The liberty of the subject. [London] : Publish'd Octr. 15th. 1779 by W. Humphrey ..., [1779]. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 779.10.15.01+. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. A woman in stays and with her shift sleeves rolled up appears to have come directly from her chore of mopping to a street fight.

    stock A constructed version of a neckcloth made from a length of fabric not quite long enough to go around the neck, stitched to short ends of leather or fabric that buckle or tie at the back of the neck and cinch the stock snugly around the neck. The main section is frequently a finely pleated length of fabric stitched to an unpleated backing. Alternatives to a stock are a handkerchief or neckcloth. A stock is the most formal of these three alternatives.

    stockings Stockings, which come up over the knee, were worn by men, women, and children. Stockings were knitted to fit the leg: wider at the calf and thigh and narrower at the knee and ankle. They were knitted in a small, tight gauge, generally 12 stitches per inch or tighter. They were knit of thread (linen), worsted, silk, yarn (woolen) or cotton. Earlier, stockings cut from woven cloth were worn, but by the 18th century—particularly by the second half—these were very rare and only worn by poor, provincial folk. Stockings could be knit by hand or frame knit. If frame knit, they were knitted flat but shaped and were sewn up the back. Hand-knit stockings generally had a line of purl stitches in back to imitate a seam. To shape the ankle, a gusset (wedge-shaped section) was inserted and could be decorated with a design ("clocking"). In older cut hose this had been part of the sole piece and seamed into the leg; knit stockings imitated this styling in knit stitches and for fancy stockings the clock was often decorated with a knit-in pattern or was embroidered over, and/or might be a contrasting color. Examples:

    • Boucher, François. La toilette. 1742. On the Web at CGFA. The clock in the seated woman's stocking is barely visible. It is a mere outline with an oval decoration at the top (possibly a flower design).
    • Hogarth, William. A Harlot's Progress, plate 4 of 6. 1732. On the Web at CGFA. The harlot's servant's stockings have gussets of a contrasting color.
    • Hogarth, William. After (Outdoor Scene). c. 1731. On the Web at Olga's Gallery. The woman's stockings have clocks of a contrasting color.
    • Ladies Knitted and Embroidered Silk Stockings English, first half of the 18th c. On the Web at Cora Ginsburg LCC: Costumes Textiles.

    stomacher A piece of fabric, sometimes stiffened, which fills in the blank area between the front sections of a gown bodice which is open at the center front. It is generally decorated with embroidery or metallic lace (especially earlier) or ribbons, ruching, lace, and/or fringe (especially later).

    string 1) String. 2) A tie, usually one of a pair, as in "apron strings", "petticoat strings", "cloak strings", "shoe strings". Unclear whether they were always made of fiber (tape, cord, or ribbon) or whether "strings" could also refer to ties of leather or other materials.

    stuff (18c) A particular sort of wool fabric.

    T

    tartan 1) What is now called a plaid. 2) (modern) A plaid pattern associated with a Scottish clans. Not an 18th century term. The association of specific tartans with clans was invented by 19th century romantics, complete with "history". (See discussions on RevList and 18cWoman, e.g., on 18cWoman@yahoogroups.com in October, 2000.)

    thread Usually, linen thread. "... Likewise to be sold by said BROOKS, a good assortment of the very best black, white and mixed colour silk stockings; worsted, cotton and thread ditto..." (The Pennsylvania Gazette, January 17, 1776, item #58785).

    thread buttons See buttons, thread.

    tippet I think a tippet is a very small thing that just goes around the neck and hangs down a little, frequently made of fur. But it's possible that "tippet" is another word for "short cloak" or "mantle". I'm still investigating this term.

    • Coypel, Charles-Antoine, 1694-1752. Portrait of Charlotte Philippine De Chatre Du Cange, Marquise De Lamure, c. 1735. Reproduced in Dress in 18th Century Europe by Aileen Ribeiro. On the Web at Bridges to Art—select database "Worcester Art Museum Images", search type "Artist", terms "Coypel", and then Search. I think the fur thing around her neck is a tippet.
    • Vispré, François-Xavier. Madame Roubiliac, ca. 1760. On the Web at the V&A. Brown fur garment around neck, shaped to be wider at the back than elsewhere, with ends long enough to disappear out of view below her waist. Perhaps this would have been called a tippet.
    • unknown (French). Two ladies, one holding a fan and the other a rose. On the Web at the Bowes Museum. The woman on the left wears a fur thingy around her neck and hanging down her front. Is it a tippet? Beats me!

    toile 1) A French word meaning "fabric". 2) "Toile de Jouy": fabric printed with patterns in large-scale repeats by means of copper plates. In modern usage, the term refers specifically to prints featuring bucolic or rustic scenes, which are generally used for furnishings. These prints were used for furnishings in the 18th century as well, but the term "toiles de Jouy" covered a wider range: not only the furnishing fabrics with stylized scenes of peasant life, but also patterns such as floral prints.

    trousers A man's garment resembling breeches but longer and without cuffs, from mid-calf length to ankle length, with or without a strap going under the foot. Trousers were a lower class garment, and were sometimes worn by sailors. The use of trousers began spread to other groups toward the end of the century. Examples:

    tucker A strip of fabric, possibly edged with lace, or a strip of lace across the top of the stomacher to help hide that unsightly cleavage line, or a strip that goes all the way around the gown neckline. The strip across the stomacher was sometimes called a "modesty piece" alternatively or perhaps instead. "Modesty piece" and "tucker" were also used in the 19th century for a triangular piece to fill in a V neckline, and a chemisette.

    U

    umbrella See parasol.

    W

    waistcoat 1) A man's waistcoat. 2) A woman's waistcoat, either a) styled after a man's waistcoat and worn with a riding habit, or b) cut very simply and typically quilted or otherwise padded, and worn as an undergarment for warmth or possibly light support. See An Analysis of A Eighteenth Century Woman's Quilted Waistcoat by Sharon Ann Burnston at Historic Fashions by sallyqueenassociates.com, 2001; also at Sharon Ann Burnston: "At Home" in the Eighteenth Century.

    • Quilted waistcoat, ca. 1745, silk and linen, hand-sewn with silk thread, England. Victoria & Albert Museum, T.87-1978. On the Web at the V&A.

    wallet Also sometimes seen as "market wallet". A bag made with a center slit and closed ends so that the center section can be twisted to "close" the opening and the wallet can be thrown over a shoulder and carried. This is the nearest 18th c. equivalent to a modern pocketbook (see also pocketbook) but was not a close equivalent; for one thing, wallets were generally carried by men and not by women (with the exception of a thief, documentation for women carrying wallets is rare and of questionable provenance or accuracy). For additional information, see under Accoutrements at 18cNewEnglandLife.org.

    woolen Wool spun so that the fibers curl, or spiral, in the yarn. Woolen yarn is softer, fluffier, warmer, and weaker than worsted. Woolen fabric fulls well, which gives the fabric weatherproof qualities.

    worsted Wool spun so that the fibers lie straight in the yarn. Worsted yarn is harder, smoother, cooler, and stronger than woolen. Worsted fabric does not tend to fuzz or pill.

    Y

    yarn Usually, woolen thread. "To be SOLD, by THOMAS BOND, JUNIOR, In his STORE, at the corner of Norris' Alley, in Second street, A large an excellent assortment of HOSIERY, consisting of MILLED worsted and milled yarn Germantown stockings... " (The Pennsylvania Gazette, September 30, 1772, item #51837).

    Z

    zone A false waistcoat front which appears under a cutaway gown or jacket front. The cutaway style became fashionable in the 1770s. A zone can be considered a sort of "upside-down stomacher". Regarding whether the term was used in the 18th century in this sense:

    • The OED's definition n.3.a. is "A girdle or belt, as a part of dress".
    • The Annual register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature, For the Year 1783 (London: Printed for J. Dodsley, in Pall-Mall, 1785), p. 13. This quote regarding Malay dress aligns better with the OED definition of something that engirdles the waist than with the notion of an upside-down stomacher:
      The women have a kind of bodice, or short waistcoat rather, that defends the breasts, and reaches to the hips. The cayen sarrong, before described, comes up as high as the armpits, and extends to the feet, being kept on simply by folding and tucking it over, at the breast, except when the talle-pending, or zone, is worn about the waist, which forms an additional and necessary security. This is usually of embroidered cloth, and sometimes a plate of gold or silver, about two inches broad, fastening in the front with a large clasp of filagree or chased work, with some kind of precious stone, or imitation of such, in the center.
    • The Lady's Magazine; of Entertaining Companion for the Fair Sex, Appropriated solely to their Use and Amusement. VolXVII,for the Year 1786. London: Printed for G. Robinson, No.25 Pater-noster Row. Publish'd as the Act directs Feby, 1st, 1788. [sic] On p 19:
      …I drew away my hand, and took the roses; I fastened them in my zone…
    • The European magazine, and London review: Containing the Literature, History, Politics, Arts, Manners & Amusements of the Age. Simul et jucunda et ideonea dicere vitae by the Philological Society of London. Vol: 13 From Janry to June. 1788. (London. Printed for J Sewell, Cornhill, 1788), p. 61. This description of the dress at the Queen's birthday celebration may be more relevant, but still does not clarify just what was meant by "zone":
      No stomachers, or any decoration whatever in their place—the bodies being entirely plain ; not even a zone, which was so universal last year.
    Examples of zones:
    • Fashionable Dresses in the Rooms in Weymouth 1774, 1774 (printed). Victoria & Albert Museum, E.2262-1888. On the Web at the V&A. Very early example of a zone front gown on the the second woman from the right.
    • Slight of hand by a monkey, or, The lady's head unloaded, [London] : Printed for Carington Bowles, at his Map & Print Warehouse No. 69 in St. Pauls Church Yard, London, published as the act directs, [25 Oct. 1776]. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 776.10.25.05+. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection.
    • The feather'd fair in a fright from the original picture by John Collet, in the possession of Carington Bowles., [London] : Printed for & sold by Carington Bowles ... No.69 in St. Pauls Church Yard, London, [July 1777?]. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 777.07.00.01+. On the Web at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection. Zone fastens down center front like a compère.
    • Janinet, Jean-François. L'indiscretion, 1788. On the Web at La Couturière Parisienne. Zone fastens down center front like a compère.
    • Fragonard, Jean-Honoré. The Stolen Kiss, c. 1788. On the Web at the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, at CGFA, at the Web Gallery of Art, and at at Humanities Web. Front closure, if any, is obscure.
    • A cutaway gown with zone with basques, and with revers on gown bodice and caps and cuffs on long sleeves. On the Web at la Fabrica Del Tempo. According to the site, the gown "is front fastened by a cord passing through hidden stitched eyelets".
    • Dress (Robe à l'Anglaise), 1785–87, French, silk. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, C.I.66.39a, b. On the Web at the Met. Gown with a zone or, more likely, with a tuck taken in the bodice fabric to give the appearance of a separate zone.


    Last updated 29 Sept 2014.

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