I can't tell you where the seams were in sleeves in a random year in the 19th century. I can't tell you exactly when hoops turned to bell-shapes and what fabrics were most common when, and what colors were popular--not without looking it up, anyway. But at this point I've researched the fashion of enough eras, from 1770s through the 1920s, that I'm beginning to recognize things before I see a year attached to them. And that's pretty cool. =)
One of my recent realizations of this was with a book I was reading for WhiteFire. There was no date at the beginning of the book to tell us when it was taking place, and our other editor asked. I said something like, "Based on the fashion described, it has to be 1890s." I went and checked in the proposal she'd sent earlier, and voila! 1890! I felt so proud, LOL.
This is a pretty handy (and necessary) skill for a historical writer to have attained, and it's a fun one to learn! It's also the point where I can recognize a few designers, believe it or not. Every time I see a late 19th-century gown that I just adore, I know it's from the House of Worth. Haven't been wrong yet, LOL.
So while we've looked at a lot of fashion here as I'm in one era or another, today we're going to just take a quick tour through the ages that I've studied. =)
|Late 1860s (House of Worth!!)|
|1890s (also Worth - drool)|