18th Century Costume Archives: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Part III

The redingote costume above is a close replica of George Morland’s engraving, The Squire’s Door, 1790 (below).  Bonaham’s version has been given an extra ruffle at both the collar and the jacket’s hem.   Most other redingotes around this time period use a single floor length coat instead of what appears here as a separate jacket and skirt, although it could very well be one piece.  Take note of the plain style cravat instead of the elaborate ruff worn by the women below.  The  modified tricorne hat is also pared down and the hair looks to be clubbed, or tied back, with a black ribbon.  Both of these styles are very masculine and as such, atypical on a woman.  A little artistic licensing done here to illustrate independence in the character.

Lady Worsley (above) made the redingote famous by wearing this regimental riding habit while camped with her husband and his South Hampshire militia at Coxheath in 1778.  As Coxheath became a gathering place for the ton with the likes of the fashionable Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire, Lady Clermont, Lady Jersey, Lady Melbourne and Mrs. Crewe all dressed en militaire to suppord their husbands’ cause.  Sir Joshua Reynolds painted Worsley in 1779 after his visit to Coxheath.

Line drawings of the redingote’s evolution can be found at Fashion-Era, from the early 1700s to 1895.

Also see:  18th Century Costume Archives: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Part I and Part II.


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