The most common garment for women in the colonies and Early America would have been a simple linen gown. Linen is a fabric that was affordable and accessible for everyone in lower and working classes. The gown is the typical garment seen in artwork and descriptions of the time. This particular style has the elegance of clean lines and carefully laid pleats. This blends with the functionality of the pinning front closure, which makes it adjustable for weight fluctuation, and the 3/4 sleeve which comes down below the elbow and protects the arms, but not to the wrist where it would easily soil and hinder movement.
The gown consists of the upper portion that is put on like a jacket and pinned in front, with a full-length skirt in the back, and a standard petticoat. This gown is shown with a split bum skirt support. This elevates the silhouette and social class of the gown. The same gown can be worn without the skirt support for a less extreme silhouette and ease of movement, making it versatile for many situations and environments.
To find the correct size for this gown, we need your measurements taken while wearing stays. This gown is not designed to be worn without proper undergarments.
Women's gowns must be worn over 18th century stays. To get the measurements for proper sizing please put on the stays you intend on wearing with this gown. If possible, have another person take the measurements for you.
To measure your bust, take the tape around the widest part of your chest.
For the waist, hold the tape naturally, without pulling overly tight, around the smallest part of your natural waist, below the ribs and above the hip bones.
To measure your bicep, hold the arm in a relaxed position and hold the tape snuggly but not tightly around the widest part of the bicep.
When measuring waist to ankle, use the same location on your natural waist and measure down to the ankle bone.