1800 - 1805 Classical/ empire period
Skirts: Gored at front and sides, straight panel at back. Joined to bodice. Flat front, gathered at the back, or pleated from sides to back. Hem clears the ground. Some trains for day, definitely for court or evening wear. Skirt appears straight. Opening at side front. Generally plain.
Bodices: Above natural waist. Drop front or wrap front. Wide, round neckline, often filled with a matching or white chemisette or fichu. Front bodice cut on cross, while back cut on the straight. Very narrow back esp. c. 1805. Corset used to pull shoulders back to create narrowness. Single dart each side below bust, unless gathered.
Sleeves: Short, puff sleeves, flat at front, fullness towards back. Also long straight sleeves.
Deborah V. McKeown 1997
Where marked (JP) the text is by John Peacock from his book Men's Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook, ã 1996 Thames & Hudson Ltd, London. Reproduced by kind permission of Thames & Hudson Ltd, London.
Where marked * Picture and notes are based on notes from Dover Publications.