Le Beau Monde, or Literary and Fashionable Magazine, 1806-1810

Volume 1, No. 1 November 1806

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This number contained three plates: (1) "Portrait of our Most Gracious King"; (2) "Two beautifully coloured whole length Figures of Gentlemen's Fashions for November"; and (3) "A beautifully coloured, and most approved Fashionable Barouche Landau." Of course, the fashion plate was gone from the issue I examined. The contents include as headings: Biographical sketches of illustrious men, history, original communications, review of literature, poetry, fine arts, public amusements for October, Retrospect of Politics for the month of October 1806, Miscellanies, and Le Beau Monde. Under each heading (in all capital Letters) is listed the various articles or subheadings.

Text of Fashion Descriptions [from page 59]

Fig. No. 1.--MORNING DRESS is a plain single-breasted frock of brown or olive with metal buttons; the waistcoat, of striped toilinette, any colour, is rather longer than formerly; pantaloons, drabs of all degrees, in general worn with hussar boots: the hat is somewhat broader in the brim, and the hair, though less affecting the antique, is still much dressed out before.

Fig. No. 2.--EVENING DRESS is almost universally of dark bottle green double- breasted coat with buttons of the same colour, covered or basket; the sleeves wide, but to fit at the shoulders, and the skirt reaching down to the hollow of the knee. The waistcoat white, and the breeches a light drab. The hair is invariably powdered, dressed high in front , and somewhat over the forehead in curls. Buckles or strings at the knees and in the shoes are equally worn, but buckles are decidedly the most dressed.



Fashion, tasteful yet fantastic, merciless yet idolized, seats herself in her weather-cock throne on the dome of elevated Pleasure, and dictates her unappealable injunctions to the votaries of the enchantress within.

The neckcloth should, by no means, be too greatly puffed out; but should be neatly united in front with a large unspread bow. Dark bottle green coats will be as generally worn this season, as those of brown colours were last winter.

For a morning dress frock-coats will be prevalent: those of an olive-green hue, with a black velvet collar, will be the most universal. Fancied waistcoats of all manufactures may be worn with this kind of coat; but fashion ordains the invariable use of dark blue or light-coloured kerseymere pantaloons, and half-boots. The boots must rise somewhat higher in the leg than has lately been the custom, and the toes of them should be formed into a perfect-semicircle.

Full-dress coats will likewise be made of dark green cloth, double-breasted, and will possess the similar ornament of a black velvet collar. Single-breasted white waistcoats, and light-coloured kerseymere breeches will be in much estimation. Either flesh-coloured or snow-white silk stockings, fashion now considers as elegant.

The hair, for morning dress, should be cut a las Titus; for full dress, it should be powdered. Buckles for the shoes are employed in full dress; but ribbands are allowed in afternoon or dinner dress.

Volume I, No. 2 December 1806

This number contains three prints as well: (1) "Portrait of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales"; (2) "Two beautifully coloured whole length Figures of Gentlemen's Fashions for December"; and (3) "A beautifully coloured, and most approved Fashionable Single Crarie Barouche Chariot." The headings were the same as those for November.

Text of Fashion Descriptions [from page 122]

Fig. No. 1. EVENING DRESS--For this dress are used the various shades of dark chocolate, brown, and olive coats, which are made in much the same manner as they were last month, both in regard to the collar and lapelle: but the waist is somewhat lengthened, and the hip buttons are rather farther apart than they were at that time. The length of the coat remains the same, and the buttons are either covered with the same cloth as the coat or are formed of basket-worked twist to match. Velvet collars are still worn. White maiseilles, quilting, waistcoats, continue to be the only fashionable wear with coloured clothes. The breeches are much as before. They are made of the various shades of light drab colours: they descend comfortably below the knee, and are there tied with a silk string. Silk stockings of the natural colour are more prevalent than those of pink.

Fig. No. 2.--MORNING DRESS.--The morning coats are generally worn of the same colours and make as those of the evening; and are distinguished from them only by having a plated button, which is now worn much larger than it was formerly.--But the most gentlemanly dress is a single-breasted coat (according to the engraving) buttoning comfortably over the body, and cut away to show the breeches. The most genteel colours are darkish green mixtures, or nut-coloured mixtures, coats of which are equally fashionable with or without a black velvet collar. Plain plated buttons are exclusively worn on these coats.--The coat itself is about two inches shorted than the evening coat, and has no pocket flaps at the sides. The waistcoats for this dress are almost exclusively of striped toilinets, which are worn in rather broader stripes than formerly was the fashion; and the strip is now beginning to be perpendicular with the body instead of horizontal. The breeches are made of drab-coloured milled kerseymeres, with gilt buttons at the knees, and made sufficiently long to come into the whole boot; but the most general dress are pantaloons of much the same colours as the breeches. These are frequently made of ribbed kerseymeres, and are worn with Hessian boots.

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