1700-1799 Fashion Trends

By Jasmine Guillory

Men and Women clothing

Up until the middle of the 18th century, fashion was a fairly reliable visual indicator of the wear’s social rank.


The sack- back gown with flowing pleats from the shoulders was originally an undress fashion. At its most informal, this gown was unfitted both front and back and called a sacque. With a more relaxed style came a shift away from heavy fabrics, such as satin and velvet, to Indian cotton, silks and damasks. Also, these gowns were often made in lighter pastel shades that gave off a warm, graceful and childlike appearance.Later, for formal wear, the front was fitted to the body by means of a tightly-laced underbodice, while the back fell in loose box pleats called "Watteau pleats" from their appearance in the paintings of Antonine Watteau

The less formal robe à l'anglaise, close- bodied gown or "nightgown" also had a pleated back, but the pleats were sewn down to fit the bodice to the body to the waist.


The male suit, also known as the habit, made of three parts: the justaucorps a jacket, and breeches In the early eighteenth century the jacket continued to have a full skirt. Fabrics for men were primarily silks, velvets, and brocades, with woolens used for the middle class and for sporting costumes.


Boston Massacre. Crowds taunted a handful of British soldiers in Boston (yelling "Fire and be Damned"). Verbal sparring escalated into a melee, during which British soldiers fired into the crowd and killed 5 people. Defended in court by John Adams, seven soldiers were acquitted and two were convicted of manslaughter. Composer William Billings publishes The New England Psalm Singer. Parliament repeals the Towwnshend duties on all items except tea. Marie Antoinette of Austria marries the French Dauphin, Louis. 10 million people starve to death in Bengal. Thomas Gainsborough paints The Blue Boy. The first public restaurant is established in Paris.


The period 1700–1750 in Fashion, saw use of different style of wigs worn by men on various occasions. The big high parted wig that was in fashion during 1690s was still popular until 1720. Wigs were colored in white mostly. Often the wig was powdered to look more fashionable. Afterward the length of the false hair worn was long and it was brushed back from the brow and clubbed back at the nape of the neck by means of a black ribbon.
Show Clip - The Phantom of the Opera - "Prima Donna"