Outer Wear for Regency Ladies
All of the gorgeous clothes are one of my favorite things about writing Regency! We authors love to envision and describe our heroines and their ensembles, but it can be hard to keep all of the unfamiliar terms straight! Our ladies had fabulous choices to make regarding their outerwear, and this is a short guide to help you visualize the gorgeous pieces our heroes think about peeling away. :-)
Spencer: A short jacket with a high waist to match the style of the period. It was tightly fitted and covered the bodice and sleeves.
Pelisse: A long coat dress that fastened in the front. It could be of three-quarter length or reach the hemlines and completely cover the dress underneath, or leave just the hem peeking out.
Redingote: Similar to a pelisse, but it did not fasten all the way down and left the skirts visible. Sometimes had a belt.
Mantle: a loose, short cloak, sleeveless and often with a hood.
Carriage dress: Sometimes called a carriage costume, these were often an ensemble of dress and outer wear or overdress. The outer layer could be made of sturdier fabrics to withstand travel or sometimes done up with expensive fabrics and trim to show to advantage when walking or riding (for example, in Hyde Park at the fashionable hour)