I'm currently immersing myself in a variety of 19th century sources (primary and secondary) as research for writing Regency romances. While reading the 1811 work "The Mirror of Graces," on appropriate character and fashion for women, I came across this tidbit:
"Young women must, therefore, when they present themselves to the world, not implicitly fashion their demeanors according to the levelling rules of the generality of school-governesses; but, considering the character of their own figures, allow their deportment, and select their dress, to follow and correct the bias of nature."
Yes! Even in 1811, wise fashionistas advised others to take into account what kind of figure they had before adopting current trends.
(The dresses pictured to the right are from 1826, so at the later end of the broadly-defined Regency period, spanning about 1795-1830. I am envious of those billowing sleeves - not because I'd really want to wear them, but they WOULD provide an apt disguise for my bat wings!)