The Shawl: A Regency Fashion Essential, by Susan Karsten

Either utilitarian or elegant, the shawl joins the pelisse and spencer as a main regency outerwear option. Over an evening dress, draped artistically, the shawl appeared as an ornament. At home or when not on display, however, they would be used to cover the shoulders and upper body to provide warmth.

Shawl worn with an evening dress

The shawls came either rectangular or square and some were over six feet long.
Cashmere shawls imported from Kashmir in the Himalayas were warm, beautiful and popular. Also popular was the English Norwich silk shawl which cost 60 pounds and was one yard square. It’s clear the shawl was a fashion essential during the regency, particularly as the dresses tended to be scanty.

A wide array of shawls

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