Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Remember When . . . The Skirts Had Hoops?

Well, I finally did it--I got to The End in my 1861-set manuscript. Yay! It took longer than I thought it would--and ended up longer than it should have in word count, LOL, but it's finished. Not counting edits, revisions, cuts, chops, rewrites, what have you. ;-)

So before I dive back into the 18th century, I wanted to linger a bit on the truly awesome styling of the mid to late 19th century. Because seriously, I love a good hoop skirt. Don't you? I've put together a board on Pinterest for my favorite finds, many of which were repinned from the board of my friend Rachel Wilder, who's an expert on 19th century fashion. She has, in fact, a blog geared toward answering reader/writer questions on fashion, which I highly recommend you check out.


Now for some fun. =) Let's start with one of the most important articles of Victorian clothing--the corset. Though they get a bad rap in modern times because of how they were used to reform the figure, but the boning and stays provided the structure needed to pull off these gowns--you can't have a period dress without one. (Though we certainly don't have to reduce our waists to 17 inches with them!)


Then, of course, we need a hoop.

And now to pick what to wear. How about a day dress?

And don't forget your accessories! A perfect parasol for instance . . .
And a lovely bonne.
But don't stay out too long this afternoon. You'll have to dress for the evening, you know!
And of course, a lady goes nowhere without her fan--it's an essential tool for social interaction. =)
Lovely, isn't it all? And before we object to how hot they'd be, let me assure you that those who do reenacting say that you get so accustomed to it that you aren't drenched in sweat while in them--you're freezing when you take them off. ;-)

Hope everyone enjoyed the brief tour through 1860s fashion!

11 comments:

  1. What fun - thank you for sharing the pictures! I like the apricot one and the pink one. They make me wish (not for the first time!) that we wore such pretty clothes today!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, Roseanna - I TOTALLY love that parasol. Just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it? Apparently the royal blue on it makes it rather rare, but it's so striking!

      Delete
  3. Wow, what a difference 150 years make ;-)

    How "normal" were those dresses? They seem quite difficult and expensive. Was there a big difference between weekdays and saturday night or sunday morning? What did a less affluent woman wear? A woman going to work?

    And how would they fit in an airplane seat or get thru the metal detectors with these dresses? :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Sascha--yes, they'd be a real problem in metal detectors or airplanes. =)

      These are all from the affluent folks, as they're what survived. The poorer folks would still try to pull off the same look if they had the means; servants, etc., wore no hoops. All the long-sleeved dresses, though, are "day dresses"--what you'd wear on an average day, though certainly not everyone could afford such detail. I've seen many examples of simpler dresses--they just aren't as pretty, LOL. The short-sleeved ones are party clothes.

      Delete
  4. What lovely dresses. I've always wanted to be able to wear dresses like that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I never would have survived without my blue jeans!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As much as I love the odler time-period dress, I am so thankful that women can wear pants! It's a love/hate relationship.

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I loved the reddish/maroon and gold dress. It is divine!!

    I also love the peach and white dress at the top and the white/cream gown with the gold embroidery at the bottom.

    Doesn't this make you wish we still dressed like this? Not all the time, of course, but in our culture dressing up just isn't done often enough.

    ReplyDelete