A caraco is a style of woman's jacket that was fashionable from the mid-18th to early 19th centuries. Caracos were thigh-length and opened in front, with tight, three-quarter or long sleeves. Like gowns of the period, the back of the caraco could be fitted to the waist or could hang in pleats from the shoulder in a "sack-back". Caracos were generally made of printed linen or cotton.
The caraco emerged as an informal style in France in the 1760s, based on working-class jackets. It was worn with a petticoat and, if open in front, a stomacher or decorative stays. The English caraco was generally closed in front. A similar garment with a wrap front, called in English a bedgown or short gown, was the standard working woman's costume of the later 18th century.
Women's jackets and short gowns of the 18th century
- Cumming et al. (2010), p. 40
- Takeda and Spilker (2010), p. 141.
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