Hip length cloaks were fashionable for outdoor wear as well as providing additional warmth against indoor drafts. They were easier to maneuver than a full-length cloak, but did not provide as much protection.
A distinguishing characteristic of the pelisse was the armhole slits in the front. This version in gold silk includes a hood with the characteristic starburst pleating.
The pattern, from a 1769 Garsault engraving, was found in The Cut Of Women's Clothes 1600-1930 by Norah Waugh. ST
The term cloak refers to a loose outer garment without sleeves. A full-length cloak was usually made from wool (broadcloth or cloth) but is also found in thin silks. Wool that had been fulled (shrunk, felted and sheared) was relatively waterproof and thus a popular choice for a functional garment. A woman's full-length cloak usually had an ample hood to shelter the large hairstyles of the time. Although hats were worn, many styles and materials were only good at sheltering the face from the sun, not the rain. Occasionally seen is a cloak with an attached waistcoat front. This served the purpose of keeping the chest area warm while the cloak was open due to arm movement. The pattern for this scarlet wool cloak was taken from an original in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was researched by Ed and Marion Hurley. Another similar cloak is in the collection at Williamsburg. ST
LADY'S GOWN and MANTLET
This gown, done in a lilac and blue floral striped cotton, is cut in the late-century
"bodice & skirt" pattern, with a pointed front and back waistline. (see
is worn a fashionable light outdoor wrap, called a mantelet, hooded cloak, or
mantle. These were popular from mid-century, and done in a variety of fabrics
of different weights.
A man's great coat was cut large enough to go over a man's suit. As its name implies, it is of greater size than a regular suit coat, although it maintained a similar cut.
Shoulder capes were popular and by the end of the century, multiples of five and six were often seen.
Our gentleman is wearing a brown wool great coat with cut (unsewn) edges. This was common practice, as the fulled wool would not unravel when cut. The pattern for this garment was drafted based on examples in the Chester County Historical Society and the Colonial Williamsburg Collection. ST