Here is a glimpse into my new sketch book. The images you see where inspired by the costumes I saw yesterday at Sudley House.
In a glass cabinet at the exhibition was a garment called a Spencer jacket. It was made from velvet and the colour was a lovely emerald green. I couldn't figure how to turn the flash on my camera off so I have tried to capture the Spencer Jacket from memory. It reminded me of Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. When I got home I looked it up on the net and here is what I found.
The Spencer was a short top coat without tails worn by men during the 1790s as an extra covering over the tailed coat. It had long sleeves and was frequently decorated with military frogging. Its originator is thought to be Earl Spencer who singed the tails of his coat when standing beside a fire. He then had the tails trimmed off and started a fashion.
A female version was soon adopted by gentlewomen who at the time were wearing the thin light muslin dresses of the 1790s.
The Spencer was worn as a cardigan or shrug is worn today. It was a short form of jacket to just above waist level cut on identical lines to the dress.
Right - A Lady Wearing a Spencer to read. A Spencer was perfect to keep chills away.
Left - A very cropped short high waisted Regency Spencer of 1817.