The X silhouette in its most exaggerated form. Notice the asymmetrical hairstyles and tiny slippers.
By 1822 the movement from the classical Empire into the Romantic era is complete. The cut of the gown owes much to the preceding period. New attitudes are reflected in the return of the corset, the addition of petticoats, and the lightweight dress fabrics. There is an increasing emphasis on the hem treatment, leading to an exaggeration of their width. By the early 1830s the silhouette is like a capital X, with the width of the sleeve equaling the hem. When the corset returns, the waistline moves to a normal position at the waist. The bodice fits tightly over the corset, and is narrow backed and tiny waisted. The neckline remains wide and low, and the fichu returns to fill it in. A wide, mantlelike collar often finishes the neckline. Width becomes important and the shoulder line is extended. Sleeves include the puff sleeve, the tubular sleeve, and finally the leg-of-mutton sleeve. They are all full and gathered into the armhole. In the early part of the period the skirts show back fullness only. As the waistline returns to a normal position, skirts are evenly gathered all the way around. Skirt trim widens and is elaborate until it covers the distance from knee to ankle. Overgarments include the spencer, which sometimes looks like a blouse, and the pelisse. Fabrics are crisp and light in color. They are often plain. Texture is added through ruching, smocking, gathering, pinking, and puffed effects. Cotton, an important fabric, is in stripes and a variety of delicate prints. Silk tafetta, silk satin, and challis-like woolens are also popular.
Costume -- Europe -- History -- (LC) Prints -- France -- 19th century -- (YVRC)
costume (mode of fashion) (AAT) fashion illustrations (AAT)
Clothing & Accessories Paintings & Drawings
The use of this image may be subject to the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) or to site license or other rights management terms and conditions. The person using the image is liable for any infringement.
Yale Community Only
Related Exhibit or Resource:
Romantic: 1820 -1845: Dress: Women
Button, Jeanne and Sbarge, Stephen
History of Costume, In Slides, Notes and Commentaries: Volume 5
New York, NY Theatre Arts Slide Presentations 1975
GT513 +B87 5 (LC)
Visual Resources Collection
Visual Resources Collection
New Haven, CT: Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University
For more information about this resource, contact:
Many images in the Arts Library’s Visual Resources Digital Collection are scans from reproductions, used for teaching.
When available, information on the original work appears in a Source Note field.
Yale Library cannot provide high-resolution files, nor grant permission for use of copyrighted images.