While the method of land transportation continued to be by carriage and horseback, riding costumes were a must for every woman's wardrobe. This is a reproduction of an "Empire" gown which was used for riding between 1800-1810. The coat worn earlier was shortened with the new empire waistline. It still retains most of the features of a man's coat but now falls into the basque (pleats) just below the shoulder blades. It is lined with gray silk.
The front of the coat is closed with self-covered buttons. Seen at the neck is the double ruffle of the lawn habit shirt. Beneath the coat a tiny bodice tops the long skirt. The bustle roll of wadded wool is sewn inside the back of the skirt. The skirt was made long enough to cover the feet while riding. Until on horseback it had to be tied up or carried over the arm. There are tapes and tabs inside the skirt which permit the habit to be worn for traveling. Black shoes, red limerick gloves and a hat trimmed with ribbon and feathers complete the outfit.
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