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