The Dictionary of Fashion History Cover Image

The Dictionary of Fashion History

Valerie Cumming, C. W. Cunnington and P. E. Cunnington

Table of contents

  • Round-eared cap

Round-eared cap

Dictionary entry

Page: 175


Period: 1730s–1760s.

A white indoor cap curving round the face to the level of the ears or below. The front border with a single or double frill, generally with a small ruffle and “pinch” in the centre. The back of the cap without a frill and drawn together by a running string. The back of the cap was shallow, exposing much of the back hair.

Side lappets were optional, and single or double, attached to the lower borders of the front frills. Single lappets were often pinned up to the crown or loosely tied under the chin, a style common with servants. From ca.1745 the frill at the sides widened and was starched and later wired to stand away from the face as “vast winkers”. At the same time the top of the cap narrowed with a small V-shaped pleat in the centre – “a pinched cap”, and lappets became less usual. The fabrics used included cambric, lace, gauze, and net, often with a bright silk lining; there were optional trimmings of ribbons, feathers or small artificial flowers. Occasionally called a coif.