Describing the exquisite Regency gowns in its collection, The Museum of Costume & Assembly Rooms, Bath: The Official Guide states on p 32:
"These simple, light gowns were inspired by the neo-classical taste and were intended to imitate the draperies of ancient Greek and Roman statues. Muslin was an ideal dress fabric because it was soft and almost transparent, gently outlining the natural contours of the figure. It could also be washed easily (unlike silk) which made the fashion for white possible."
View ravishing details of my favorite regency gown, which is for sale (click on dress in link and scroll down): Directoire silk gauze dress, c.1805. Fashioned from gossamer silk gauze woven with the Neoclassical stripes then popular. The draped folds and lace appliqués on the short puffed sleeves show masterful design. A rare fancy period dress with the original trim.