The spring is taking its time getting started and it's quite wet and windy. A young lady must protect herself from these dreadful April chills somehow. And with a pretty pelisse such as this I can brave the harshest weather.
|Coat (Pelisse), 1820. Met Museum|
|Coat (Pelisse), 1820. Back. Met Museum|
|Coat (Pelisse), 1820. Detail. Met Museum|
A pelisse was originally a short jacket with fur worn loosely over one shoulder by hussar light cavalry soldiers. Like many fashionable women's garments of the age, the Regency turned this military jacket into a piece of outwear for ladies. A pelisse was cut to follow the waist and the lines of the dress and was made of sturdier stuff than thin muslin gowns popular at the time. In winter the fabrics of choice were velvet or wool often with a fur trim; and in summer lighter fabrics were used - silk or sarsenet.
This silk pelisse from the Met Museum is really lovely. The color is a bit dull and I'm afraid many a lady might look washed-out in it, but the puffed sleeves are fun and the military-style braiding, popular at the time, is a great detail. I also love the two flowers and a little ruffle at the back. Like all great things, they seem to defy all logic, reason and purpose.