The Pictures I have chosen for this blog post are all from the movie “The Duchess” starring Kiera Knightly. This first picture (above) presents two styles of dress that are starkly juxtaposed by one another yet worn by the same character. The dress in the left picture is highly feminine, lightly colored and adorned with ribbons and frills. The dress on the right however, is dark and mirrors the dress of the man behind her. It is ornamented with masculine features that are common attributes of men’s clothing, such as buckles and a neck tie.
These next two images (above) also present differing accounts of modes of dress. The dresses in the top picture are lightly colored and more practical-looking than those in the lower picture. In the picture on the top, the women are also wearing hats rather than feathers, as they are in the lower picture.
The conclusion I have come to about the way choosing an outfit worked in the 18th century, is that selecting an outfit was determined by the situation you would be wearing it in. For example, in the movie “The Duchess,” women would wear lighter-colored clothing during the day and darker-colored clothing when they would go out at night, to say the opera or a play. Also, at night, when going to town for such festivities, clothing was more ornate and rich looking and was adorned with more accessories, namely jewelry. During the day, clothing was of lighter material and more relaxed in order to, I presume, allow for freer movement and to limit the effects of heat caused by the sunlight.