Posted by The Mysterious H.C. on March 27, 1998 at 22:16:20:
In response to Ball gowns and color, written by ElaineL on March 27, 1998 at 20:45:59
Well, as Edmund Bertram tells us, "A woman can never be too fine while she is all in white."
Seriously, I don't have any detailed knowledge in this area (except to know that white muslin was generally thought very elegant from the late 1790's to 1810 or so), but I do think that a lot would have depended on small transient changes in fashion, on the impression a woman wanted to make and on her personal taste, on what was considered becoming in the particular circles in which a woman moved, etc....
Ball gown from a late 1810's painting:
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