Category Archives: Fashion

Even in the age of What Not to Wear?

. . . man only can be aware of the insensibility of man towards a new gown. . . . Woman is fine for her satisfaction alone.  No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it.

Northanger Abbey, volume 1, chapter 10

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A mother’s taste

“I like the Gown very much & my Mother thinks it very ugly.”

letter to Cassandra
October 27, 1800 [23]

What daughter cannot relate?

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Filed under Austen family, Fashion, Letters, mother Cassandra

Some prevailing wish

“I am quite pleased with Martha & Mrs. Lefroy for wanting the pattern of our Caps, but I am not so well pleased with Your giving it to them–.  Some wish, some prevailing Wish is necessary to the animation of everybody’s Mind, & in gratifying this, You leave them to form some other which will not probably be half so innocent.”

letter to Cassandra
June 2, 1799 [20]

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Filed under Fashion, Humor, Letters, Martha Lloyd, Morality, Mrs. Lefroy

More fashion headaches

“I cannot determine what to do about my new Gown; I wish such things were to be bought ready made.”

letter to Cassandra
December 25, 1798 [15]

In Jane’s day (it seems, I’m not entirely clear on this) fabric had to be purchased and then someone else hired to make up the dress, and I think the client had to provide a good deal of direction in some cases.  Is anyone out there an expert on 18th century fashion?

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Filed under Fashion, Letters

On having nothing to wear

I am determined to buy a handsome [muslin Gown] whenever I can, & am so tired & ashamed of half my present stock that I even blush at the sight of the wardrobe that contains them.”

letter to Cassandra
December 25, 1798 [15]

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Filed under Fashion, Letters, Shopping

Indian summer

“What dreadful Hot weather we have!–It keeps one in a continual state of Inelegance.”

letter to Cassandra
September 18, 1796 [7]

I suppose I should not post this one in the middle of winter, but I am craving hot weather.  It was in the seventies here in D.C. on Saturday; now winter is creeping back.  Oh to be somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean!

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Filed under Fashion, Letters, Weather

The importance of fashion

“I rather expect to receive an offer from my friend in the course of the evening.  I shall refuse him, however, unless he promises to give away his white Coat.”

Jane writing to Cassandra re: a ball the following evening, joking about expecting an offer from Tom Lefroy

January 14, 1796 [2]

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Filed under Engagement, Fashion, Jane Austen's love interests, Letters, Men, Tom Lefroy