Dolley Madison's fashions
Posted by Carolyn B on June 16, 1998 at 08:11:32:
In response to Wickham's Further Treachery, written by Roger V on June 16, 1998 at 00:18:23
] For a little more information about Dolley, the link below will take you to an online article about her. Even if you don't read the article, it contains a portrait of Dolley (probably in her later years) in an Empire-style gown, demonstrating that fashion, even then, had no trouble crossing the Atlantic! Another portrait of her, as a younger woman, but also wearing the same style clothing now hangs in the Red Room of the White House.
White house portrait is linked below. She also redecorated parts of the White House in the early 1800s, bringing in the latest styles. There's some discussion of it at that site, with original drawings, etc.
The interesting thing about Dolley (IMHO) is that she was raised Quaker and in her first marriage dressed very plainly, but then when her next husband became president she took very easily to the latest French fashions!
A number of her outfits are at the Greensboro Historical Museum in NC (where she is from), and when I first moved to this area, a friend told me I had to go to the Museum to see all of Dolley's turbans! Unfortunately now most of her original clothing has been taken off display, but they do have two reproduction gowns (both Empire-waist) and an interesting cape that I think was a gift from one of the North African countries. Also her cloth dancing slippers which always leave me wondering how a woman could protect her feet from any clod-hopping partners!
So Americans who want to see those Regency/Empire fashions might occasionally find them in our local museums and historical societies.
(I'm sure Dolley could have dealt with Wickham, given the chance ; )
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