Sunday Soiree: A Regency Ball

Last week, Samantha had the opportunity to attend a Regency Ball as part of the Pride and Prejudice conference at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. For this week’s Sunday Soiree, we thought we’d share some of the evening’s highlights!

When they said “Regency Ball”, they meant Regency Ball. This wasn’t just about dressing up in passable Regency garb, but everything else that happened at a ball: the food, the dancing, the card games, the benches outside where one could take some fresh air when the entertainment became too vigorous. I had a bit of a bummed foot over the week and a bit preceding the conference, and I also pulled a muscle in the same leg during the dancing lesson we had prior to the ball, so my dance card was shockingly empty… But of course, that allowed for a lot of photos and Regency card games and gossip!

Although the Regency dress code wasn’t compulsory, it was really amazing how practically everyone rocked up in their empire dresses and waistcoats—and mmm, the cravats!

Regency Ball - Processing

Processing into the ballroom, led by the dance caller and the hosts of the ball.

And then I found my sartorial twin!

Regency Ball - Sartorial Twin

I’m on the right, with a dress I found at a vintage store in Belfast for a tenner. Yup.

Because the dancing was a little too strenuous for me and the outside area was a little chilly (the notion of “summer” in Austen is a lie), I opted to join in some card games in the upstairs area.

Regency Ball - Cards

Complete with replicates of Regency cards!

It helped that the dessert table was right in the card area, and I may have gone back for seconds…

Regency Ball - Desserts!

Why would you try to resist any of these?

Being upstairs meant I had a great vantage point of all the merry dancers. Watching them was an experience in itself!

Regency Ball - Dancing

Dancing and twirling away.

And throughout the evening, the Regency Love plot bunnies continued to multiply… Clearly, my attendance of this Regency Ball was purely for research!

Sunday Soiree: The Pros and Cons of Regency Attire

How is everyone enjoying Costume Theatre? (Haven’t got a copy yet? Get yours now, free from the App Store.)

After spending so much time working with Regency clothing (where, naturally, “work” entails watching BBC period dramas), Samantha started thinking about the pros and cons of wearing such attire. So she gave us these two questions to answer:

  • What do you find most appealing about Regency fashion?
  • What might deter you from Regency clothing?

And here are our responses, in words, images, and a combination of both!




What do you find most appealing about Regency fashion? 

I coo over the men’s dress: The sporty riding look with tousled windblown hair.

What might deter you from Regency clothing?

Mixed feelings on muslin. Draped lightly over a natural figure, a muslin dress sounds both elegant and comfortable but all those layers of delicate white gauze must be a pain to clean! Being hopelessly accident prone, any muslin gown of mine would not likely survive its first tea sitting.



What do you find most appealing about Regency fashion? 

Cravats. The very idea of delicate fingers running over an immaculately tied neckband, playing with the knot before loosening the fabric to reveal, little by little, the soft skin beneath, the pulse that quickens, the heat of a gentleman’s breath upon a lady’s fingers…is an appealing notion, indeed.

What might deter you from Regency clothing?

As much as I love the look and feel of gloves, navigating the world while wearing them would be a real bother: I’d get them extremely dirty, but be forever fumbling with them during meals and while playing the piano. Of course, the act of removing gloves—before one begins to work on cravats—is another matter entirely…

And what do you think? What exactly do you like/dislike about the Regency wardrobe? Let us know in the comments!

Sunday Soiree: Regency-styled!

For the month of June, our blog posts will be themed around Regency clothing. Quite befitting, considering our current projects are rather Regency-heavy—in fact, we’ll be releasing the Costume Theatre dress-up app later this month (provided all goes smoothly at the App Store)!

In fact, to celebrate Regency attire, our first Sunday Soiree provides a sneak peak of how the Costume Theatre app could be used. And while we’re at it, we might as well introduce ourselves, too.

Jenny: The girl who drinks Chai. Nothing’s more fantastic than doing sketches with a cup of tea and a macaron on the side. Nothing more depressing than spilling said tea on sketches. Note to self: put tea further away from sketches.


Melody: Not so proper. Mel shoots a teacup while sporting a muslin gown with a cravat and top hat.


Samantha: Likes to pretend she’s a man of letters. Cravats, waistcoats, top hats—bring it on! And bring a notebook and quill, too.


We’d love to know what you think about our particular self-renditions!