Regency Fashion for Formal Occasions

24 April 2024

Evening wear for both men and women of the upper classes was always elegant during the Regency era.

For formal occasions men still wore the satin or velvet breeches and cut-away coats of the previous century, with stockings and buckled shoes.

For ladies, silk, velvet or satin, were highly desirable, with gloves to the elbow and her finest jewels – though a young woman making her debut would very likely wear more modest ornaments such as pearls or a simple necklace.

The grandest costumes were reserved for visits to the Royal Court. For those young ladies invited to make their Presentation to the Queen, it was essential to wear a grand toilette, consisting of a magnificent lace, silk or satin dress with a large hooped skirt. The debutante would also wear elbow-length gloves, carry an elegantly decorated fan in one hand and have her small evening bag (known as a reticule) on her wrist. Hair was often worn up and for a Court Presentation it was essential to wear ostrich feathers standing upright in one’s hair!

A Grand Toilette