The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Browse the fashion plates by date, the magazine in which they were published, or by dress terms

Click on the links for more information and examples within the collection.

Glossary of dress terms

This is not a definitive glossary of 18th and 19th century dress terms, but definitions of items and styles illustrated in the fashion plates within the Gallery’s collection.

Terms used in the fashion pages were not always consistent or precise. Different names might be given to the same garment or style, or the same name used for different ones, as the meaning of terms and names of garments changed from period to period. The same item might be given a French name in one magazine, an English one in another, and just a description in a third.

Click on a subject for sub-categories, their definitions and examples.

Accessories Activities and occasions Bodices Children Dresses Fabrics Footwear Hair Headwear Influences Lace Men Neckwear Outer garments Sleeves and cuffs Trimmings and ornamentation Undergarments


Below are the 18th and 19th century periodicals in which the plates were published, listed in order of occurrence. Changes in title and ownership, and mergers, frequently took place, as well as in the artists, and the quality of the fashion plates varied as a result.

English periodicals

The Lady's Magazine The Lady's Monthly Museum or Polite Repository of Amusement and Instruction La Belle Assemblée or Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine The Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, Manufactures, &c The World of Fashion and Continental Feuilletons The Ladies' Pocket Magazine R. Ackermann’s Repository of Fashions The Parisian Gem of Fashion The Ladies’ Cabinet of Fashion, Music and Romance The New Monthly Belle Assemblée Blackwood's Lady's Magazine and Gazette of the Fashionable World The Court Magazine and Monthly Critic and Lady’s Magazine and Museum The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine

French periodicals

Le Journal des Dames et des Modes Petit Courrier des Dames, Journal des Modes Le Follet, Courrier des Salons, Journal des Modes Le Bon Ton, Journal des Modes Les Modes Parisiennes Le Moniteur de la Mode


Browse the fashion plates by the period in which they were published.

18th century 1800s 1810s 1820s 1830s 1840s 1860s

Do, draw and make!

Do, draw and make!

From building dens to food faces – enjoy our Playful Portraits activities and find out about some brilliant people!

Get Creative

Healthcare Heroes

Activities for children and families inspired by three healthcare heroes from our Collection.

Learn together

Learning resources

Downloadable and web based resources to support learning at home linked to art, history, citizenship and literacy.

Get learning