Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Regency Era - Caroline's Party Dress

I haven't purchased anything for Caroline from BEFOREVER (yet). I'm not particularly drawn to this party dress. I've had a few inquiries about the historical accuracy of this outfit. Let's begin with an explanation of the Regency era.
The Regency era in the United Kingdom is the period between 1811 and 1820, when King George III was deemed unfit to rule and his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled as his proxy as Prince Regent. In 1820 the Prince Regent became George IV on the death of his father. -wikipedia

In America this era was known as the Federalist era

 Dinner during the Regency era was quite an elaborate affair that included several courses. Depending on the size and how grand the event was, guests would be served anywhere from five to twenty five dishes in one evening. Wow! After the main course dessert was served - usually nuts, fruits, sweetmeats and ice cream.

For evening wear, light fabrics were preferred and were often made of fine muslin, silk satin, duchesse silk and light taffeta. There was an unspoken dress code for debutantes. Young ladies were expected to wear pastels and white. As we can see from Caroline's party dress, this is in keeping with the culture of the era. Light colors, silk satin fabric, short sleeves and long gloves. 
Emma, Jane Austen
Emma, Jane Austen

Sense & Sensibility 1995

Dark colors would be too dark for candlelight. As pictured above,  dresses were trimmed in metallic trim or beading to catch the light. Short sleeves were popular, but long above-the-elbow gloves were always worn. Many were white or black, but also in different colors including yellow and blue. 

Caroline's newest BEFOREVER dress is in keeping with the historical accuracy of the European Regency era and American Federalist era.

Still it all looks very familiar to the NOLA table. 

The NOLA collection was during the Antebellum Period in American history, generally considered to be the period before the civil war and after the War of 1812.

 Young girl party dress, Antebellum period.


Antebellum dining.

It's possible some of the furnishing and customs lingered from the Regency era and American Federalist era into the Antebellum era.


  1. I love that you are doing this, there have been alot of questions about how many of the beforever outfits are historically accurate like Sam's boots and Kit's meet and photographer dress, I loved your post about those lilac boots and would be very happy to see more posts showing where all the new things fit into real history.... :) Keep it up!

  2. The material and colours might be accurate but I think that the pattern is not and in any case the dress if far to short for the historical period.

    1. Actually I think hemlines got shorter as time went on (don't they always? LOL) I found this great regency resource for anyone who is interested.

  3. Thanks for the info. I'm not going to nit pick this one, as she's SO lovely in it!

    I wonder whether the tablet and treats concept will sell better with Caroline because she's so much more popular overall than the NOLA girls and their world were. Time will tell, I suppose.

  4. My dd(8) loves this dress. It looks better in person. However, she calls it her Frozen dress. We bought it for her Caroline. I love the dishes and silver tiered platter. They are heavy but the tiered cupcake icing thing is pure light plastic junk. Makes no sense to have it. The table cloth lokked linen and is embroidered. The ruffle IMO is hideous online and in person but I really love Carolines dishes on it!

  5. Thanks for gathering so much info! You really have put a lot of work into researching the historical accuracy of these new items :) I'm liking Caroline's new dress a little more every day and will probably buy it regardless, as whether or not it's completely historically accurate, Caroline simply looks amazing in it. Same for her treat table. It's just lovely!

    In fact, the only part I'm doubting in its accuracy is the headband--but just like Samantha's rather anachronistic headband it's just a cute piece that I'll still use.