This military-inspired riding habit was modeled after the portrait of Mrs. William [Laura Wolcott] Moseley painted by Ralph Earl in 1791. Made of black velvet, the coat is piped in white satin. The hoops popular earlier have been laid aside in favor of a large rump ruffle. These rumps were constructed of cotton or linen and were stuffed with wool. Worn while riding, the coat, or redingote, is hooked at the waist and hangs loose to reveal the white satin petticoat beneath. As fashionable at the time, the front and back were balanced by the sheer white puffed tippet which covers the bosom. A collar and two small cape lets add interest and help to balance the figure.
While horseback riding, side saddle of course, a woman would wear a coarse petticoat on the outside to protect the velvet from mud.
The hat, constructed of beaver, has a band of white satin and accents of three ostrich feathers. Black leather gloves complete the outfit.
An outfit like this needs a white charger to set it apart, but a walking stick will have to suffice!
This reproduction was made by Peggy Fields and Louise Bartley.
Click on the image for detail views.