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Fashion: Domino Costume

History of the Domino costume for masquerade balls

The domino costume refers both to the hooded cloak and to the mask, one of the most popular choices for masquerades.


The mask, with rounded edges, typically covers only half the face. The cloak had a removable hood, called a bahoo, and was voluminous in size with wide sleeves, designed to be worn over full dress.


Both men and women wore this costume with relish. In the 18th century, the only colours would have been white or black, blue being the first alternate colour seen as we progress towards the early 19th century. While it could be made of satin, brocade, or cotton, silk was the favourite. As we reach the Regency, the domino style and colour became more bespoke, ladies and gents alike having their cloaks and masks made to match their attire.


In the early 18th century, these were used not only for masquerades but also for when royalty or aristocracy wished to mingle in disguise, be it at a pleasure garden, a ball, or otherwise. Dominos were not exclusive to masquerades and not an unusual sight, even some groups of gentlemen venturing to dinner parties in their dominoes for a laugh. Its exclusive function as a costume for a masquerade is seen during the Regency and beyond.


Enjoy this post from This is Versailles: The Domino

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