Historical Fashion: Georgian Women’s Hairstyles

Just History Posts

I recently tweeted the following picture, showing a fashion plate from France, 1778, showing a huge elaborate hairstyle that was often popular with French and English women of this time period. These hairstyles are very evocative of the period, and significantly different from many other time periods, so I thought I would explore what types of hairstyles were popular, and how some of the more extravagant styles were achieved.

DIjBbfrWsAAsCHh (1)The French plate mentioned above.

At the beginning of the Georgian period (early 1700s) the big hair was not yet the vogue, and instead hair looked more “normal”. It was often partially or fully covered with a lace or linen cap, and would be left either to flow long over the shoulders, or be pinned up. Hair was often (but not always) curled.

hairstyles-catherine-hydeCatherine Douglas, Duchess of Queensbury c.1725-1730. National Portrait Gallery.

(c) National Trust, Calke Abbey; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationCatherine Harpur, Lady Gough, c. 1739. National Trust

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