What to wear

There are images of men's regency costumes at http://pinterest.com/aylwen/men-s-costumes/ and women's costumes at http://pinterest.com/aylwen/ . Wearing costumes is not obligatory at JAFA - our motto has always been that costumes are admired but not required. However, we do ask that you make an effort for the evening events. It can be easier to find regency gowns than tailcoats, so if men can't find an outfit, please wear a neat suit or long pants, long sleeved white collared shirt and a waistcoat. Stand up your collar and tie a white cravat. There will be cravats on sale at the festival shop if you need one.

Day Wear

LADIES wore foot-length light, dresses in fine muslin & silk, with short lightly-puffed sleeves and hem decorations. Lace fichu and cotton batiste chemises covered the décolleté. Accessories were long kid gloves, flat pointed leather shoes or short boots, white stockings and silk or straw hats, decorated with silk ribbons and silk flowers. Small silk-covered parasols, often foldable, with wooden or bone handles protected them from the sun. Ladies also carried a reticule, cashmere shawl, chatelaine, miser’s purse and fan and if the day was cool a long-sleeved pelisse of white percale or silk . Jewellery was often pearls, coral & cameos. Hair was up under the bonnet with Front ringlets showing.

The Man’s Day Wardrobe in 1812-13 consisted of a cut-away jacket in wool or cashmere, often blue. The fashion of the day was black collars and polished metal buttons. They wore riding boots, high-waisted, drop-front light wollen or cahsmere breeches, a waist-length silk waistcoat, a white cotton batiste shirt with no lace, white stockings, a long white cravate, a black hat and a pair of gloves. Other accessories were a walking stick, fob watch, miser’s purse etc.

1812-13 Ball Wear

Ladies wore Ball Gowns with lightly puffed sleeves and low-cut fitted busts. Young woman wore light colours (ivory and cream being the most popular) and a hemline that showed their ankles. Older woman’s hems were foot length & trains were for non-dancers. Most dresses were made from silk satin, silk gauze and silk tulle. The silks were dyed in natural colours and bright colours were not in fashion.
Dresses were decorated with silk ribbons, silk flowers and garlands, silk and metallic embroidery and pleats. Pearls were also used. They wore flat Ballet slippers, usually white and sometimes laced up the legs with silk ribbon. They wore white stockings and cream soft kid leather gloves that came well above their elbows. They decorated their hair with silk flowers and garlands, silk toques with feathers, combs and curled their hair into ringlets (see Elisa’s portrait on the right). They carried a cashmere or silk shawl, a fan, a reticule and a twin lorgnette if needed. Jewellery was often a matching necklace, hair comb, earrings and twin bracelets in pearl or coral.

Men wore court suits, civilian ball attire or military Dress uniforms to Balls. The military jackets were worn with white wollen breeches or matt black silk culottes with black flat dancing slippers with buckles. They wore fine white cotton batiste shirts with no lace, a white cravate, black or white
stockings, white gloves and a black hat. Swords were not worn on the dance floor. Court suits were made of embroidered silk with matching silk culottes, a white silk embroidered waistcoat, a white cotton batiste shirt with no lace, white cravate, white stockings, flat black dancing slippers with buckles, a black hat and white gloves.
Civilians wore silk , velvet, light wool or cashmere jackets in muted Reds, browns and purples etc. with polished metal buttons. Their high-waisted Breeches were white and made of silk satin or light wool or cashmere. They wore Fine cotton batiste shirts with no lace, a white cravate, a white silk short waistcoat, white stockings, flat black dancing pumps with buckles, a black hat and white gloves. Accessories were handkerchieves, fob watches and cravate pins etc.