Beauty in riding habits. Late 1880s
She is exquisite!
Riding habits were constructed with a feminine silhouette, but were given such masculine details as buttons, cuffs and jacket lapels. A formal men’s hat, such as the top hat shown here, was worn in Victorian times (and later) - sometimes with a veil on the back.
The tradition of menswear in riding habits is an old one. In 1666, a young Samuel Pepys wrote:
Walking in the galleries at White Hall, I find the Ladies of Honour dressed in their riding garbs, with coats and doublets with deep skirts, just, for all the world, like mine; and buttoned their doublets up to the breast, with periwigs under their hats; so that, only for a long petticoat dragging under their men’s coats, nobody could take them for women in any point whatever; which was an odde sight, and a sight did not please me.
They were often trained or longer on one side of the skirt so as to protect modesty while riding sidesaddle.