Words in Progress: Regency Fashion

Since I have an established reading blog in my weekly Recent Reads column, I thought it might be fun to start something similar on the writing side of things.

As I write Historical MM Romance, it’s rather inevitable that this new blog will also centre on books, especially those that help and guide my research. I have a horrible feeling that this will only encourage me to buy yet more resource books!

On that theme, during January and February, I have been working on books 5 and 6 of my Regency Twelve Letters series. In both of these, The Misfit and May Wedding, I had scenes where I describe the detail of Regency menswear. There are plenty of wonderful specialist websites on fashion, cravats and hairstyles, but what I really needed to double-check was the types of cloth available to tailors and what a Regency dandy might wear to a fashionable wedding – which is pretty specific!

Although I have a bookshelf crammed with general historical costume books, it occurred to me that I didn’t have any specific Regency reference books. So I had to get Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen, a slim volume by Sarah Jane Downing, crammed with details and gorgeous illustrations of Regency fashion.

I have found that costume books tend to focus on women’s wear so as this book had two chapters detailing men’s fashions, it was a must-buy! It’s already well thumbed through and has several strategically placed bookmarks.

So now I’m forearmed to expand on the fabrics in stock at Daniel Walters’ tailor’s shop on Tottenham Court Road and the details of Percy Havilland’s fashionable ensemble for a family wedding at St. George’s, Hanover Square. Job done!

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