royalty, nobility and gentry

Royalty, the nobility and the gentry influenced fashion, which in turn may have affected what working rural women wore.

Royalty

Lady Llanover

Other Nobility and Gentry

1853
The inhabitants of Llangasty-tal-y-llyn [Breconshire] have at this festive season experienced another proof of the beneficence of Robert Raikes, Esq., of Treberfedd, and his worthy lady. On the Wednesday before Christmas-day, each poor woman in the parish was presented with a new dress and a bonnet ; those who preferred it receiving a Welsh hat instead of bonnet.
Hereford Times, 1 January 1853

1891 Crickhowel
[Arrived at a cottage in which a man was weaving.] ‘He was weaving a woollen material of different patterns for ladies’ gowns. He told us that it would practically never wear out, as it was so well made and from good home-spun wool. … Then he gave us a long list of ladies, titled and otherwise, but mostly titled, who patronised him. … Some of these designs he made out of his own head, some were from old material, some were copied from modern machine productions.’ [The author ordered a dress length of material for his wife, selected a design from his pattern book, paid him but was given no receipt and it arrived by post shortly after his return home.]
Hissey, James John, Across England in a Dog Cart : from London to St. David’s and back. (1891), pp. 301-302