Risky Regencies

In or Out?

Yesterday, I had another whole post planned out then–well, life intervened! It was a crazy day, full of bathroom repair mayhem. In addition, Blogger was very slow, and I decided to wait until the morning to post something. I’m on my way to work, so that planned post can wait until next week, and I am going to throw today’s topic to you! On the addictive site Go Fug Yourself, they often have reader polls on certain outfits, which I have a ridiculous amount of fun taking part in. Now it’s your turn to pass judgment on certain historical ladies and their style choices. Who do you think is In, and who is Out?

And I will give away a signed copy of the UK edition of To Catch a Rogue (not out in the US until next spring!) to one random commenter–no matter what your opinion is!

Empress Eugenie: In or Out?
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: in or Out?
Princess Charlotte: In or Out?
Berthe Morisot: In or Out?
Queen Elizabeth I: in or Out?
Therese Tallien: In or Out?
Princesse de Lamballe: In or Out?
Maria di Cosimo: In or Out?

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Jane Austen
13 years ago

Well I normally like Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, but in this case I do not. She doesn’t look nearly as put together as normal. So I say out.

My favorite is Therese Tallien and she’s definitely in. The Greek look is very in right now.

Maggie Robinson w/a Margaret Rowe

So funny. Think what they’ll be saying about us in 300 years.The princesse’s hair is outre.Elizabeth looks a tad overdressed. Everyone else is okay, but give me my jeans, please.

Janet Mullany
13 years ago

Empress Eugenie: Out. Butt looks big in that outfit.
Georgiana: Out bigtime. I started, finally, reading her bio and found her a tiresome, spoiled woman.
Princess Charlotte: In. Great shawl.
Berthe Morisot: Out. Sit up straight, young lady.
Q. Elizabeth: In. If you’ve got bling, flaunt it.
Therese Tallien: In, but for goodness’ sake put on a cardigan or something other than the horse blanket.
Princesse de Lamballe: In, just, despite big hair, because I like the roses.
Maria di Cosima: In, see Q. Eliz. above.

13 years ago

I just watched Duchess last night about Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, and she normally (according to the movies) looks much better than in the picture you posted.

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

Poor Georgiana! She’s probably meant to be some kind of allegorical figure there, with all kinds of symbolism to justify the wrap-y, crumpled robes. 🙂

I do like almost everyone here, they’re great examples of the fashions of their times! (aside from Lamballe’s overly-stiff hair and Berthe’s need to smarten up a bit!) I especially think Maria’s ensemble is very pretty

Jane Austen
13 years ago

Just curious….if you click on the Elizabeth I picture you get a larger picture. Does it look like there are sea monsters on the dress to anyone else? granted they could be large fish and in one case perhaps a seahorse, but the collection of animals and flora seems very strange. Imagine the detail that went into making a dress like that back then. Yikes!

Jane Austen
13 years ago

And Janet,

I did a speech once on the history of women’s underwear and although I don’t know when the painting of Empress Eugenie was done I can say this: During her lifetime people finally realized that you could have anal sex and not get pregnant so it was a great way to cheat on your wife or husband. Thus the butt became very sensual and underwear that made your butt look bigger became very popular. (Now imagine having to say this to a group of 18 year olds with a very proper Southern beauty queen as your professor and try to keep a straight face….I did bring in visual aids….how could you not?)

Barbara Monajem
13 years ago

They’re all out except Empress Eugenie, who is lovely, and Maria di Cosimo, who looks like a lady with a purpose.

I would have voted for Georgiana, too, if you’d used the pic with her signature hat.

13 years ago

I’m usually completely fashion-indifferent, but this is a cool challenge; let’s see:

Empress Eugene, in
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, out (at least in that outfit)
Princess Charlotte, out (the style really doesn’t flatter her)
Berthe Morisot, also out, same reason
Queen Elizabeth I, in–I wouldn’t want to spend one hour in that get up but I have a weakness for the images.
Therese Tallien, out
Princesse de Lamballe, in if we can dispense with the hair-do–it doesn’t bear considering what was probably hidden in there! *shudder*
Maria de Cosimo, in

This is fun!

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

LOL, JA! That sounds like a fab speech. 🙂

BTW, I have a fascinating book that discusses the symbolism in the portraits of Elizabeth I (very complicated!), I will have to look up this particular image when I get home. It was probably just an imaginary gown, like the famous portrait with the dress covered in eyes and ears (ugh). Or maybe it has symbolic elements in the background, like the Ditchley portrait where she stands on the map.

Jane Austen
13 years ago


That book sounds really neat. Can you give me the title and author? Thanks.


Diane Gaston
13 years ago

Eugenie – In. Very lovely lace and I like the light and dark contrast

Georgiana – Out. Bedsheets were never in.

Charlotte – In. Lovely sleeve and collar detail. Empire waist is flattering

Berthe – Out. No style at all!

Elizabeth – Out. Way too fussy

Therese – In. The shawl gives just the right touch of color

Princesse – Out. Because of the hair

Maria – In. Lovely use of color and texture.

13 years ago

Well, I liked Berthe Morisot – maybe it was the pose more than the dress.

I liked the comment on Elizabeth I – If you have it why not flaunt it with the bling 🙂

13 years ago

Empress Eignia is in. She is everything and Empress should be. Georgiana is out she looks like she had overindulged the night before or even the week before. Princess Charlotte is in. Berthe Moriste is out. The dress is not very flattering on her. Queen Elizabeth is in as she always is. She was very bold in all ways and her fashion sence shows that. Theresa Tallien is in. The Greek look is very flattering on her and she looks very elegant and timeless. Princess de Lambelle is out. I was never a fan of the large powedered wigs. The dress is not bad though. Maria di Cosmo is in. She looks very lovely in her dress and red hair.

13 years ago

All of them out except the Duchess of Devonshire. She’s way in.

13 years ago

Oh, I love Georgiana’s style, just not her attitude. Her hat is very jaunty!

Jane George
13 years ago

Black and white are always in!
Learn how to WORK that veil.
Vampire chic, still in.
Berthe=Out and not happy about it.
Clothes that can knock others out of your way are In.
Classic is as classic does.
Unless her hair just won the Kentucky Derby.
Give that outfit to Puss In Boots.

Fun post!

Bunnie's Mom
13 years ago

To decide, I thought to myself, ‘would I be caught dead in that?’. I would so totally wear Eugenie’s dress, oh I love it! Georgiana looks bratty and almost sloppy and Charlotte’s dress may look rich in person but comes off as heavy and dark.
I like Berthe’s dress, despite it’s lack of shape, you can’t go wrong in classic black and white and although I think Queen Liz’s dress is a giant nightmare, it’s the Queen & when is she ever “out”?
I love Therese’s gown, classic look IMO. I would love love love to wear that dress Princess Lamballe has on. Maria di Cosimo looks ok too, I’m sure she looked “hawt” for her time.

Keira Soleore
13 years ago

I vote Ammanda IN for the cuteness of her blog.

Empress Eugenie: OUT for the big butt

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: OUT for ugliness

Princess Charlotte: Very much IN for the gown and that scarlet scarf

Berthe Morisot: OUT for corset lookalike squeezing of those breasts

Queen Elizabeth I: Ye Gods. IN!

Therese Tallien: IN for the scarf, OUT for the gown a la greque

Princesse de Lamballe: OUT for ever aspect of that costume, but most especially for hair that hibernates little critters

Maria di Cosimo: IN for Robin Hood mebbe

Amanda McCabe
13 years ago

LOL, everyone! It’s too much fun reading these comments–I may need to do this sort of post again, I have tons of portraits saved on my computer. 🙂

BTW, that book on the Elizabeth I portraits is by Elizabeth Pomeroy, “Reading the Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I”

Louisa Cornell
13 years ago

What a fun blog, Amanda! Here is my take!

Empress Eugenie – Absolutely in. I love the gown and the bling.

Georgiana, honey, this is NOT a good look for you. The “just rolled out of bed look” might be appropriate for you, but honey, don’t wear in public. You’ll scare the horses!

Princess Charlotte is in and out. I LOVE the clothes! The hair, however, is in desperate need of a makeover.

Berthe is definitely out. The couch potato trying to look like Little Miss Sunshine is NOT a good look for anyone!

Don’t throw rocks at me, but this is NOT Liz I’s best look either. Love the jewels, etc, even the collar, but that dress fabric is so busy it needs a traffic cop!

Therese, what I said about Georgiana goes double for you.

Lamballe, dear, my big concern with you is how far out the door are you going to be able to get with that hair and all those accessories on that dress? That would be a big OUT!

Marie, lose the sleeves and the hair so tight your eyes look about to pop out and the rest of it is gorgeous.

Megan Frampton
13 years ago

Those big-ass hairdos make me crazy. That is all. Everyone else looks a-okay, and I would TOTALLY rock any of these gowns (’cause they would hide my legs!)

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