18th Century Women’s Round Gowns

Last updated: Jan 7, 2024

A round gown tends to have the fitted back of the robe a l’Anglaise. As American Duchess notes, “The skirt and petticoat are as one - it is not an open robe. Popular in the 1770s through the end of the 18th century, the round gown featured a front-closing bodice with no stomacher, and a drop-front skirt.”

Round gowns continue to appear into the later 18th century, even as the waistlines shift higher to keep up with fashion trends in the 1790s. The round gown doesn’t go away, but it’s a fairly different garment at the end of the 18th century than it was in around 1775; it continues into the 19th century (as seen in V&A T.355-1980 and Colonial Williamsburg 2009-43,3 for example).

For additional styles of gowns with fitted backs, see the 18th century women’s long gowns elsewhere on this site. For a related style, see the dresses for small children as well as the girls' clothing linked from the 18th century children's clothing linkspage.

Evolution of the higher-waisted round gown into the 1790s