Often when we read about Jane Austen or delve into one of her books, there is little to no mention about what is happening on the either side of the pond. To better understand the time in which Jane Austen counts as her formative years (she was born late 1775), our own country was in a sense seeing a rebirth as a daughter of Revolution rather than a daughter of Mother England. As an ongoing effort to help American Janeites understand culturally the history of our two nations, your humble webmistress will continue to share items of interest happening in “Regency” NJ and “Regency” America, aka Colonial NJ and America.
Colonial Williamsburg’s Costume Design Center opens its door for behind-the-scenes tours on Thursdays through June 10. Guests can meet staff members and explore the building where most of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area costumes are designed and maintained.
There are about 144 types of garments from underwear to outerwear issued dressing both genders and all strata of colonial society. For women, the design center produces gowns, petticoats, stays, shifts, women jackets and bed gowns, caps, hats, kerchiefs, aprons, pockets, hoops, jewelry, mitts, gloves, cloaks and riding habits. For men, the design center makes shirts, stocks, cravats, breeches, trousers, waistcoat, sleeved and sleeveless jackets, coats, great coats, cloaks, kerchiefs, caps, spats and hats. Read illustrated story.
[Photo: ©The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation]