Goya painted a very simply dressed (though not simply named) Josefa de Castilla Portugal y van Asbrock de Garcini while pregnant in 1804.
I love the fact that she has her hair down. That’s such a rare occurrence in early 19th century portraiture.
An extremely rare extant fancy dress costume dating to circa 1826.
“The Masquerade on Monday night was very numerously attended, but there was no great discrimination displayed either with respect to the selection or dress of the Characters; the best were men in the female garb. The representation of Aunt Deborah, taken from Charles’s picture in the School for Scandal, was very appropriate, and had whimsical effect. Two or three Billingsgates, and an Old Cloathsman of the Tribe of Judah, were happily delineated, but others were, with very few exceptions, composed of noisy Watchmen, Maids of all Work, and the customary et cæteras of vulgar ribaldry.”
(source: The London Times, May 23, 1798.)
A woman in a Turkish themed fancy dress costume, painted by Jean-Baptiste Greuze circa 1790.
By the 1780s masquerades had become an integral part of the social calender for London high society.
Interest in the goings on at these parties was so great that newspapers would often print a list of the characters the aristocracy had chosen to portray.
This particular list was published in the London Times on February 5, 1788, the day after the Pantheon Masquerade at the King’s Theatre.
Top hats were a fashion must for all respectable gentlemen for a good portion of the 19th century. However the felted beaver fur that was traditionally used in construction proved just slightly too hot for the summer months.
The solution was the introduction of straw top hots for summer wear. In the very early 19th century some were even painted black to resemble their winter counterparts as closely as possible, but eventually leaving the straw its natural color became the style of choice. This one is American in origin and dates to 1832.