Regency Costume Etiquette

by Ian Watson


My first time at a Regency Ball
My costume I wore proudly
But the MC stopped me at the door
And disparaged me (quite loudly)

“Boots are not allowed” he said,
“For dancing on this floor
Take them off immediately
And leave them by the door

Your cravat it isn’t starched enough
It just won’t do at all
Untie it: throw it well away
Before you attend this ball

Your jacket’s beautifully made
And such a splendid fit
Alas the style’s Victorian
So please get rid of it.

I’m afraid your waistcoat’s pointed
An 1830’s style
Unbutton it, remove it
And add it to the pile

That shirt is buttoned down the front
Far too modern in my view
Yes that’s right, slip out of it
I’m afraid it’s far too new

I see you’re wearing trousers
Not hose and breeches, to the knee
They’ve got to go: don’t argue
They’re just not Regency

Those under things aren’t period
Such draws I can’t abide
So take them off, and now, at last
You’re free to come inside”

Now I’m sure the MC knows his facts
But it does seem rather rude
To dance ‘Mrs. Bennet’s Fancy’
Completely in the nude.