Close-bodied gown

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Close-bodied gown or robe à l'anglaise of purple and white striped silk, French, 1785-90, LACMA, M.2007.211.931

A close-bodied gown, English nightgown, or robe à l'anglaise was a women's fashion of the 18th century. Like the earlier mantua, from which it evolved,[1] the back of the gown featured pleats from the shoulder, stitched down to mould the gown closely to the body until the fullness was released into the skirt. Through the 1770s, the back pleats became narrower and closer to the center back, and by the 1780s these pleats had mostly disappeared and the skirt and bodice were cut separately.[2][3] The gown was open in front, to reveal a matching or contrasting petticoat, and featured elbow-length sleeves, which were finished with separate frills called engageantes.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Waugh, Norah (1968). The Cut of Women's Clothes: 1600-1930. New York: Routledge. pp. 65–66, 69–70, 72.
  2. ^ Feshman et al (1983), p. 235
  3. ^ Takeda and Spilker (2010), p. 212


  • Ribeiro, Aileen: The Art of Dress: Fashion in England and France 1750–1820, Yale University Press, 1995, ISBN 0-300-06287-7
  • Freshman, Philip, Dorothy J. Schuler, and Barbara Einzig, eds (1983). An Elegant Art: Fashion & Fantasy in the Eighteenth Century, Abrams/Los Angeles County Museum of Art, ISBN 0-87587-111-9
  • Takeda, Sharon Sadako, and Kaye Durland Spilker (2010). Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700 - 1915, LACMA/Prestel USA, ISBN 978-3-7913-5062-2
  • Waugh, Norah, The Cut of Women's Clothes: 1600-1930, New York, Routledge, 1968, ISBN 0-87830-026-0