Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Regency Ladies' Tresses.

So you’ve got your dress, it’s a few days before an event, and you’re thinking… What do I do with my hair?

The period did allow for a lot of flexibility when it comes to women’s hair. If you look at portraits from the time, you’ll see a wide variety of lengths and configurations for women’s styles, going from very
short pixie-cuts to elaborate up-dos.

If you have very short to moderately short hair, and you’re getting ready for a ball or dance (for with day-wear outdoors, caps and bonnets were appropriate) you can always go for
the wide bandeau or turban.
You can try to curl the locks around your face, or comb them forward as the men’s style was for that time… and then place a wide bandeau on your hair, or a turban. Turbans are simple enough to make; you can shape it on a foam headform by loosely wrapping it around the crown of the head and then using some strategic stitching to hold it all in place. A
medallion and a feather to enhance it, and you can have something truly lovely.

Medium length hair allows more flexibility, including the use of a fall, if you prefer something more voluminous than what you currently have. You can use some of the techniques below to shape the hair around your face, and then use a fall to create your shape in the back. Regency hair was often off the shoulders or partially off the shoulders.

This tutorial by author Mary Robinette Kowal, ORS member, is perfect for women with medium-length hair. She shows how you can take a little hair and make it look like a lot. Click the link below.

And for those with lots of flexibility and longish hair, you can browse the many links below and choose the styles that you like most. Jennie Chancey of Sense and Sensibility patterns has her own tutorials on Regency hair:

Rapunzel Resource is also a wonderful place for historic styles ~ She has done an ‘Emma’ series before for the Gwyneth Paltrow adaptation as well as the newest version of Emma recently broadcast on PBS.
Here is a lovely video:

Follow this link to Locks of Elegance's wonderful tutorialfor this lovely coif.
Locks of Elegance has a number of Regency hair-dos that are stellar.
Click HERE to see them.

More Emma-inspired hair styling tips from Miss Philippa Colt, ORS Member:

Jane Austen's World is also a wonderful source for many subjects related to our favourite period; however this post on hairstyles and accessories is very helpful.

Here is a lovely overview of Regency hairstyles for you to browse from Jessamyn’s Regency Costume Companion:

And Miss Lisa Brown of Rochester Contra has made this invaluable little guide on how to dress a Regency Lady, which includes a wonderful little tutorial on Regency hair.

I will be posting a how-to on turbans very soon. :)


Images courtesy of Miss Cristina Barreto


Anonymous said...

Great bit on regency hair, I really enjoyed it! I would love to see pattern reviews by locals too...

Oregon Regency Society said...

Hi Anon... did you mean pattern reviews local ORS members?

Many members and non members provide pattern reviews on the RSA community board; jump over to check out the costumes section.