This lady’s riding jacket is based on the cut of men’s coats of the time. The fullness of its skirt and its hard-wearing fabric make it a very practical garment which, together with a matching petticoat, or skirt, could also be worn for travelling.
The contrasting collar and cuffs were a popular feature of riding wear at this date. Further contrast could have been provided by a waistcoat or, as in this case, attached waistcoat panels of silk brocaded with a floral design. This silk was probably woven in the Spitalfields district of London in the early years of the 1740s, and was possibly left over from the making of a gown. A silk of this quality would have been expensive and therefore would have not gone to waste. It has been expertly cut so that both sides match up, as can be seen in the flowers and foliage just above waist level.