Fashioning Regulation, Regulating Fashion: The Uniforms and Dress of the British Army 1800-1815

Volume II

Ben Townsend

The second part of an investigation into the clothing orders of the late-Georgian British Army, combined and contrasted with an analysis of fashion in the same army - comparing the regulated dress with the 'modes of the army' as revealed by contemporary writing and illustrations.
Date Published :
February 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
From Reason to Revolution
Illustration :
24 color & 40 b/w ills
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781911628453
Pages : 468
Dimensions : 9.75 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : Available
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781914059124
Pages : 468
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : Available


The second part of an investigation into the clothing orders of the late-Georgian British Army, combined and contrasted with an analysis of fashion in the same army - comparing the regulated dress with the 'modes of the army' as revealed by contemporary writing and illustrations.

The first quarter of the nineteenth century witnessed a refinement of fashionable masculine dress that has not since been surpassed. Military tailoring inspired a flowering of uniform splendour that continued into the 1830s and sparked an enduring fascination with military costume that still rages today.

The army that operated in these cumbersome uniforms managed to achieve fame as one of the most effective British fighting forces ever recognised, and is still remembered and honoured for its achievements.

These three strands: the flowering of late Georgian civilian tailoring; of its martial equivalent; and of military excellence on campaign, have gripped the interest and the imagination of the public, and are endlessly revived and recycled through popular culture, on television, film, through books and all of the other new media.

The reader then might properly ask why another book on uniforms of this period is necessary. Quite simply, it is because the amount of material available to the researcher has increased exponentially since the advent of the internet, especially in regard to the now widely available digital archive files of institutional collections. The huge amount of accessible material makes the task of assembling accurate information much longer and much harder, but the results are consequentially more satisfying and accurate than hitherto.

This, the second of two books on the topic, pays particular attention to the ’Prince’s Regulations,’ of 1812, which exhibit the full extent of the Prince Regent’s excursions into military taste.

About The Author

Ben Townsend holds a BA in history from the University of Wales and is a writer and historical consultant for TV, radio, and film, with a particular interest in the Napoleonic and Georgian periods. Previous books on Napoleonic subjects include Regulations of the Rifle Corps, and Serjeant Weddeburne of the 95th Rifle Regiment.


"If British Napoleonic uniforms are your passion, it's hard to imagine a more comprehensive look at trousers, jackets, pantaloons, kilts, shirts, greatcoats, caps, hats, and all the rest that fashion has to offer."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

"Fashioning Regulation, Regulating Fashion will become the standard reference on its subject and it belongs on or near the desk of any person with a professional interest in the British army of the Napoleonic period. Highly recommended."

- The Napoleon Series

‘’A handsomely produced and illustrated book of most interest to modellers wishing to create and paint large scale personality figures of British officers; though a fascinating examination of the ‘connected and conflicting worlds of fashion and Wellington’s Army’, it is probably rather expensive for collectors of small scale wargame soldiers.’’

- Miniature Wargames

‘’Townsend’s books provide a fascinating insight into the massive volume of detailed staff work which lay behind every decision relating to the design, manufacture, rates and scales, provision and supply of clothing and so called “necessities” for the British Army. The invaluable and fascinating detail in these volumes has been drawn from an extremely wide range of sources many of which have simply been unavailable until recently and even now are extremely challenging to penetrate and interpret. These Volumes are most strongly recommended for anyone with an interest in the development, manufacture and supply of clothing for the British Army.’’

- Military Historical Society

"...this two volume study is without a doubt the best, most substantial antiquarian contribution to this field by far in unearthing so much obscure information, especially its rich, archival trove, and could only be superseded by a Herculean effort of many decades of research for rare titbits of information from a monumentally diverse range of sources. This work is essential for connoisseurs, collectors, antiquarians, reenactors, sophisticated costumers, and scholars."

- The Journal of Dress History

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