Feb 24, 2012

Evolution of the Regency Spencer?

I've heard it said that the Earl of Spencer singed the tails of his tail-coat while standing beside a fire and then cut off the ends, unwittingly starting a new fashion. Or was it? Looking at these pictures of an early spencer from 1795 at http://www.abitiantichi.it/collezione/abiti/corpino25.html makes me wonder - was it simply evolution?


Cassidy said...

I think the jacket just kept following the waist up as well. In general, I go with style evolution over origin stories that involve someone doing something by accident and everything following from that one person.

Time Traveling in Costume said...

I agree, I think it just followed the waist. But that doesn't explain HOW it got the name.

Cassidy said...

That's true. I did just find this article from The Kentish Register, The Origin of the Spencer (Feb, 1795) - it states that there was a story that Lord Charles Spencer deliberately created it to see if he could spread a silly fashion. Whether or not he created it, I could see the name for the man's garment following from the story, and being applied to the women's jacket because of its short length.

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