1. Just as the 100th anniversary of American independence sparked a series of American themed parties in the late 1870s and early 1880s, the 150th anniversary of the same event created a fad for colonial themed masquerades in the early 1930s. This dress was made by Peggy Hoyt in 1934 for such a masquerade.

    Just as the 100th anniversary of American independence sparked a series of American themed parties in the late 1870s and early 1880s, the 150th anniversary of the same event created a fad for colonial themed masquerades in the early 1930s. This dress was made by Peggy Hoyt in 1934 for such a masquerade.

  2. A summery printed cotton afternoon gown and matching petticoat dating to circa 1785. Also note her very large fan, which although already a fashion necessity by the 1700s, would have had a far more practical use in the summer months.

    A summery printed cotton afternoon gown and matching petticoat dating to circa 1785. Also note her very large fan, which although already a fashion necessity by the 1700s, would have had a far more practical use in the summer months.

  3. An absolutely gorgeous bergère straw hat decorated in colored straw flowers, dates to the 1760s.

    An absolutely gorgeous bergère straw hat decorated in colored straw flowers, dates to the 1760s.

  4. The modesty required by mid-18th century fashion did not allow for much skin to be exposed no matter how hot the weather. To get around this, and assure women didn’t drop like flies from heat stroke, summer gowns were made from cotton or linen, which was lighter and far more breathable than the heavy silk damasks usually used.
This robe à la française, dating to circa 1760 and made of slightly earlier material, is made of a plain weave linen and embroidered with colorful flowers in wool. (Yes, the flowers are all embroidered, not printed!)
The ensemble is completed with a flat straw hat known as a bergère which served as a sort of wearable parasol and allowed 18th century women to maintain their fashion-mandated pale complexion while keeping their hands free.

    The modesty required by mid-18th century fashion did not allow for much skin to be exposed no matter how hot the weather. To get around this, and assure women didn’t drop like flies from heat stroke, summer gowns were made from cotton or linen, which was lighter and far more breathable than the heavy silk damasks usually used.

    This robe à la française, dating to circa 1760 and made of slightly earlier material, is made of a plain weave linen and embroidered with colorful flowers in wool. (Yes, the flowers are all embroidered, not printed!)

    The ensemble is completed with a flat straw hat known as a bergère which served as a sort of wearable parasol and allowed 18th century women to maintain their fashion-mandated pale complexion while keeping their hands free.

  5. An amazing striped French robe a l’anglaise made between 1785 and 1787.

    An amazing striped French robe a l’anglaise made between 1785 and 1787.

  6. Bold stripes were very much in vogue throughout the 1780s. This circa 1780 French robe retroussée also has a striped lining which can be seen due to the bustle-like style of the gown.

    Bold stripes were very much in vogue throughout the 1780s. This circa 1780 French robe retroussée also has a striped lining which can be seen due to the bustle-like style of the gown.

  7. By the 1780s floral decoration and stripes became two distinct styles which allowed for very striking striped gowns like this early 1780s robe à la française.

    By the 1780s floral decoration and stripes became two distinct styles which allowed for very striking striped gowns like this early 1780s robe à la française.

  8. The fashion-free-for-all that was the 1770s mixed stripes, florals, bows, ruffles and pretty much whatever else you felt like throwing in.

    The fashion-free-for-all that was the 1770s mixed stripes, florals, bows, ruffles and pretty much whatever else you felt like throwing in.

  9. A robe à la française with a simple stripe and flower pattern from the third quarter of the 18th century.

    A robe à la française with a simple stripe and flower pattern from the third quarter of the 18th century.

  10. Stripes were more or less absent from early-18th century fashion which trended heavily towards anything large and flowery. The floral trend eventually transitioned to vines which simplified to a mix of wavy stripes and flowers by mid-century, as seen in this 1760s robe à la française.

    Stripes were more or less absent from early-18th century fashion which trended heavily towards anything large and flowery. The floral trend eventually transitioned to vines which simplified to a mix of wavy stripes and flowers by mid-century, as seen in this 1760s robe à la française.