19th Century Empire Dress in Solid Cotton


  • Classic Early 19th Century Dress Style
  • Made at Townsends
  • Available in a Variety of Colors

This dress is based on examples from around 1810. Its squared, slightly gathered neckline and short gathered sleeves are true to the period. The high under-the-bust waist is classic Empire. Both the neckline and waist are tied in back. The bodice is closed in back with bone buttons.

Because undergarment styles were extremely diverse during the Empire period, we have settled the issue for this dress by fully lining the bodice. The skirt is lined to about 36" from the underbust, which emulates the knee-length chemises occasionally worn during the period. The subtle back train gives the skirt a graceful, sweeping hemline.

To see the fabric swatches visit fabric swatch page . This style of dress was typically made in lighter colors.

This item is made to order, please allow 4-8 for garment to be made. Made in USA

Item # ED-189

Fabric Swatch Page:

cotton fabric

Measurement Guide:


Clothing styles took a dramatic twist at the turn of the 19th century. The Empire dress was a prime example of this French fashion invasion, based on that society’s fascination with the ancient cultures of Greece. As the Empire style made its first foray into British societies, fabrics were very wispy and somewhat transparent, revealing the female form that had previously been revered with utmost modesty. Prudish reactions were strong. As a result, this very short-lived fashion period went through even shorter phases delineated by fabric choices and undergarments (or most often, the lack thereof).