Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Riding coat

ca. 1775
silk, goat hair
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Alan S. Davis Gift, 1976
Accession Number:
Not on view
Many male critics of social behavior, including Pepys and Addison, disliked the "immodest custom" of ladies wearing masculine attire. The ladies, however, found masculine tailoring not only practical for their sports clothes but alluring as well. A discerning but, alas, anonymous gentlemen agreed with them and made the following lively remarks in the weekly Register of July 10, 1731:
The Riding Habit simply, with the black velvet cap and white feather, is in my opinion, the most elegant dress that belongs to the ladies’ wardrobe; there is a grace and gentility in it that all other dresses want; it displays the shape and turn of the body to great advantage, and betrays a negligence that is perfectly agreeable…. She who makes her actions most conformable to that standard, will always be most secure of conquests and reputation.
Related Objects

Riding coat

Date: ca. 1760 Medium: silk, goat hair Accession: 1976.147.1 On view in:Not on view


Date: ca. 1833 Medium: silk Accession: 1981.210.4 On view in:Not on view

Court dress

Date: ca. 1750 Medium: silk, metallic thread Accession: C.I.65.13.1a–c On view in:Not on view


Artist: Textile by Anna Maria Garthwaite (British, 1690–1763) Date: 1747 Medium: silk, wool, metallic Accession: C.I.66.14.2 On view in:Not on view


Date: ca. 1760 Medium: silk, linen, cotton Accession: 1996.374a–c On view in:Not on view