19th Century Button-Front Dress
Innocent but not prudish.
Polite but not stilted.
Demure but not sheepish.
Pretty but certainly not garish.
Spirited but not… well… too spirited.
As an early-19th-century English woman, you had a lot to worry about (and overcome) Jane Austen wrote about this.
Today, things have progressed progressively (there was a recent wedding that broke a few rules). There is no more of a woman’s “turn to speak.” If the boys must talk business in the parlor alone, the business must not be too important.
Even still, you can wear something sensual and innocent, delicately period, and totally and currently hip (someone in a vintage shop on West Broadway is tearingthe place apart looking for this) without worrying one bit about what they’ll say or think.
But admit it, it was fun when you caused Darcy to do a double-take.
19th Century Button-Front Dress (No. 5707). 100% cotton voile with dyed-to-match lace insets and pintuck details. Totally period, exceedingly feminine. Short flutter-style sleeves with lace trim. Charmingly anachronistic 12 self-covered shanks buttons down center front. Slip lining in cotton cambric. Falls to the low calf. Imported.