elizabeth murray homepage masthead


Historical Dictionaries

History Today

Oxford Dictionaries Online

American Heritage Dictionary Online



A mantua was a loose, open-robe gown. It was primarily used as informal dress, but with a train could be worn on all social occasions including weddings, funerals and public balls. The mantua was most often complemented by a contrasting stomacher and petticoat. Mantuas could be made from simple or luxurious fabrics and could be plain or quite elaborate in decorative style, often featuring exquisite embroidery.