Bright-Ass Yellow 18th Century English Gowns

I’ve been obsessed with bright yellow 18th century (and Regency) gowns for awhile now, and yet I still don’t have one. The marigold hue is swoon-worthy, but also intimidating, but now it’s time to finally go there, with my own BrightAssYellow English gown.

I’ve already ordered this fabric from Puresilks:

Puresilks – model code TAFBIN69

And I’ll be using this pattern from Larkin & Smith:

Larkin & Smith

Here are my inspiration images of English gowns / Robes a l’Anglaise. For the sake of not burning your retinas with *too* much sunny glory, I’m restricting my show-n-tell to just English gowns today, but there are *gobs* of other garments – sacques, caracos, redingotes, robes a la polonaise – in all shades of yellow, too.

Indicative of just how popular this color was, the one 18th century gown held at our local textile museum here in Nevada is, you guessed it, BrightAssYellow. That may not seem so special until you know that this collection is made up of only pieces with Nevada provenance…and Nevada became a state in 1864! (I’m prohibited from showing images of this gown, but I can assure you it’s wonderful.)


My primary inspiration piece, from Kerry Taylor Auctions, c. 1770s (click through for more views)
Snowshill Collection, National Trust, c. 1750-60
Snowshill Collection, National Trust, c. 1750-60
Museum of London, c. 1743-1750
The Met, c. 1776 – a much softer yellow with a lovely floral motif, and lovely narrow back pleats.
Snowshill Collection, National Trust, c. 1770
KCI, 1770, with fabric from the 1740s
V and A, 1774 – this has a different pleating pattern on the back, and buttons for looping up the skirt.
The Met, 1780-85. This one is a Robe Retroussée, an English gown (Robe a l’Anglaise) with the skirts pulled up like a Polonaise, but there is a clear waist seam and pointed back. The back is not pleated en fourreau on this one – it’s a later style.

You can see all my English Gown research images, yellow or otherwise, on my Pinterest board here.


  • Unknown

    May 30, 2014 at 12:25 AM

    Nice! I've always been fascinated by fabric and fashion, even if I don't personally wear it too much… What's most impressive in this picture that lead me here: s the SPIRAL OF LIFE, bridging the past to the present 🙂

  • Anonymous

    May 30, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    That's a very interesting project, and I must admit I love this shade of yellow! However it wouldn't fit everyone – e.g. me – it looks lovely, so bright and fresh. I especially love the embroidered versions, pink flowers match the colour perfectly.

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