Advertisement for Packwood's, 'Perfumer and Hair-Dresser', 1788



Fashion and taste was none more visible in Georgian society than in the clothes, hairstyles and hats of elite men and women. Hairdressing and styling developed in the second half of the 18th century, with many shops catering to new crazes for wigs and extensions, as shown in this advertisement for a ladies' hairdresser in the City of London. By the 1770s women’s hairstyles could be raised into substantial headdresses, supplemented by feathers, artificial hair, even fruit and flowers. The fashion for powdered wigs among men remained popular throughout the 18th century, evolving from long full-bottomed varieties to short ‘periwigs’ later in the century. These were easier to maintain and less susceptible to vermin infestation. A tax on hair powder levied in 1795 brought to an end the preference for wig-wearing, retained thereafter by the legal profession and at formal occasions in the Royal Court.

Full title
Collectanea: or, A collection of advertisements and paragraphs from the newspapers, relating to various subjects : [Trades, professions, medical cures].
Advertisement / Ephemera / Illustration / Image
Daniel Lysons
Held by
British Library
Usage terms
Public Domain

Related articles

The rise of consumerism

Article by
Matthew White
The middle classes

With increasing variety in clothes, food and household items, shopping became an important cultural activity in the 18th century. Dr Matthew White describes buying and selling during the period, and explains the connection between many luxury goods and slave plantations in South America and the Caribbean.

Related collection items