Entry by Amber Pena: Robe à la Française

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Robe à la Française

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A well-liked female clothing item of the 18th century was the robe à l'anglaise, which was distinguished by its close-fitting bodice and small shape. The English style, which preferred a more structured and fitted appearance, served as its inspiration. The use of a hooped petticoat allowed for the creation of the robe à l'anglaise high waistline and voluminous, pleated skirt. A frill or cuff was frequently added at the end of the pleated sleeves.Due to its lavish construction from materials like silk and lace, the robe à l'anglaise was a status symbol similar to the robe à la française. As opposed to the broad, flared skirts of the robe à la française, this outfit had a close-fitting bodice and a thin skirt, which gave the wearer more freedom of movement. In the eighteenth century, women with coquettish airs wore both the robe à la française and the robe à l'anglaise. The robe à la française had a large, flared skirt and wide roots, whereas the robe à l'anglaise had a narrow shape and a close-fitting bodice. Both fashion trends at the period were emblems of money and rank, and they were both affected by them.

Author: Amber Pena

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    Public Domain
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    Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art