Close-bodied gown

Close-bodied gown
Close-bodied gown or robe à l'anglaise of cotton with floral sprigs embroidered in wool, shown with a quilted silk petticoat and fichu or kerchief, England, 1780s, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, M.59.25a-c.

A close-bodied gown, English nightgown, or robe à l'anglaise was a women's fashion of the 18th century. The bodice of this style of dress was closed in front and fitted to the waist in back. Like the earlier sack-back gown or robe à la française, it featured pleats from the shoulder, but in this style the pleats were stitched down to mould the gown closely to the body until the fullness was released into the skirt.[1][2] The gown was usually worn with a matching or contrasting petticoat and featured elbow-length sleeves, which were finished with separate frills called engageantes.

A similar gown with the skirts looped up was called a robe à la Polonaise.


See also


  1. ^ Feshman et al (1983), p. 235
  2. ^ 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 0875871119
  • Takeda, Sharon Sadako, and Kaye Durland Spilker (2010). Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700 - 1915, LACMA/Prestel USA, ISBN 9783791350622

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