Detachable, or false sleeves were common during the Regency era. They were basted to the armholes of a gown for easy removal. Before 1810, both the permanent and detachable sleeves were often made of similar fabrics. After 1810, however, they could be made from different materials. Two different kinds of removable sleeves were made: undersleeves and oversleeves.
This sumptuous painting of a lady wearing the most fashionable dress and accessories shows how the undersleeves add warmth to a gown that could best be described as thin and ethereal. The undersleeves are made of the same soft cotton as the overdress with its short, puffy sleeves.
These lacy undersleeves did not provide much warmth, but certainly added drama to a dress. I imagine they could be worn under a number of short sleeve garments.
This dress, made of red violet silk figured weave, had silk and cotton linings, silk piping, and was closed with a metal hook and eye. Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
The English ivory silk evening dress below has sheer, detachable oversleeves. Circa 1820. Kent State University Museum. While the undersleeves look more practical and serviceable, these oversleeves are breathtakingly gorgeous.
Regency ball gowns with net overlays became quite popular after 1810. The bodice detail of the 1820s evening gown below shows the exquisite sheer detachable oversleeve, which reveals the detailed puffed sleeve below.
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