I had a question about regency fashion. I don't think so, but were sleeveless gowns historically accurate to the times? I saw an example on Miss Bingley in P&P 2005 at the dance and took a second look when I saw that dress. I know that movie definitely had some historically incorrect points about it so I wondered. It doesn't seem like it would be period correct. Also, did you notice that almost all of the ladies were dressed in white for the Bingleys' dance? Was white a particularly fashionable color?
As you all read this post, keep in mind that I've only seen half of Pride and Prejudice (2005) and clips from later parts of the movie. But I believe that this is the dress in question:
The short answer to this question is no, Miss Bingley's dress is not accurate for a lady at a ball during the Regency Era. However, there is a longer answer to explain why it is inaccurate.
|This is the petticoat that I made.|
Now, if Miss Bingley wore her ball gown as a petticoat under a real Regency ball gown, that would be accurate. If Miss Bingley wore a sheer dress over her petticoat so that it was still visible, but not uncovered, that would be accurate. But there is no way Miss Bingley would be wearing something that would be considered underwear as a gown to a ball. Not one as fashionable, fastidious, and critical about other ladies' dresses as she is. It would be scandalous for her to wear something like that to a ball.
Now onto the subject of white at the ball.
|A white Regency dress pictured next to Audrey|
Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, which made the
"little black dress" popular.
Of course, there were gowns in other colors besides white -- just like today there are dresses in other colors. But as a fashion staple of the Regency Era, the white Regency dress was the thing to wear, and, we can assume, a lot of women wore white Regency dresses as an everyday outfit.
In a lot of Regency movies, we see a lot of ladies wearing white, whether for day wear or evening wear. Jane Austen even makes a couple of references of ladies wearing white. Here is a segment from Northanger Abbey on wearing white:
"Mrs. Allen," said Catherine the next morning, "will there be any harm in my calling on Miss Tilney today? I shall not be easy till I have explained everything."
"Go, by all means, my dear; only put on a white gown; Miss Tilney always wears white." ~ Northanger Abbey, Chapter 12Miss Tilney, who is known for being elegant and refined, always wears white. She would definitely be considered fashionable during the Regency Era.
But I'm getting a little off track here. Back to Pride and Prejudice (2005).
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So, to sum everything up:
So, to sum everything up:
- Miss Bingley's Netherfield Ball gown in Pride and Prejudice (2005) is inaccurate and resembles a petticoat more than a Regency ball gown.
- White was a popular color in the Regency Era and the white Regency gown was a fashion staple.
Thank you, Miss Elizabeth, for sending in your question! If you have a question you would like to submit for me to do a post on, leave a comment. Just follow these guidelines. It can be about anything related to this blog: period dramas, blogging, reviews, etc.