Dressing History offers a series of 1 hour talks, which incorporate our own accurate reproductions and original items. Scroll down for a list of available talks. See our events page for talks you might like to come see!

Knowing Your Muslin talk given at the 2009 Jane Austen Festival

"Very Little White Satin, Very Few Lace Veils": Dressing For Your Wedding in Georgian England
The climax of every Austen novel, weddings were important not just socially, but fashionably. In Georgian England, getting married meant not just buying a wedding dress, but a complete wardrobe for your new life as somebody's wife. Using reproduction items, this special talk from Dressing History will explore the traditions of the wedding dress itself, from favoured colours to choosing a style, as well as the effect that marriage would have on how a lady was expected to dress.

Bergere, Poke and Cottage: Understanding Bonnets
Histories of bonnets and hats from the regency period are riddled with strange names and terms, but what does it all really mean? This talk from Dressing History attempts to make it all clear. Using accurate reproduction bonnets and hats from 1770 to 1820, we will look at how the styles developed to relate to each other, as well as how they were made and used by regency ladies.

Bonnets to Boots: A Regency Lady's Wardrobe
This presentation explores the individual elements which go together to make up a regency lady's wardrobe. Using a full set of reproduction clothing, the presentation will look into how a dress and its accessories were chosen and made, from top to bottom and inside to out. Bonnets to Boots also provides an interactive seminar for further discussion, allowing you to ask those burning questions you have about regency fashion, and to discuss long debated issues. Feel free to bring along your own reproductions for constructive advice, or anything you would like to share and discuss with others.

Knowing Your Muslin
The ever popular Knowing Your Muslin examines the role of a dressmaker during the regency period. The relationship between the client and her dressmaker will be examined, as well as the cost of garments and the practical process behind making them. A general overview of the fashions of the period will also be given.

Black Stuff and Lilac Gingham
Black Stuff and Lilac Gingham examines the role of dress in the lives and works of the Bronte sisters. Focusing largely on Charlotte Brontė and her novel, Jane Eyre, the clothing of an 1830s governess will be examined, taking an alternative look at the usually ostentatious styles of the period.

Well Dressed and in Good Spirits
Well Dressed and In Good Spirits will examine dress from all levels of society, throughout the Dickensian period (1830s-1860s). Using characters both from Dickens' life and his novels we will explore the huge variations in clothing worn. Using a series of reproductions, this will visually illustrate the social hierarchy of Dickens' world.

An accompanying publication is also available for each talk.


Serena Dyer