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By Historical Era

Recollections fashions are inspired by historical eras from the late 18th through the mid-20th centuries. Specifically, our garments are inspired by the Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian eras, as well as the Roaring 20s and the 1950s. We take pride in offering you the best in period clothing.

Add one of our Regency period clothing designs to your wardrobe and you will feel like you've just stepped out of a Jane Austen novel. This era technically entails the years 1811-1820, the time when King George III's son ruled as his proxy and was known as the Prince Regent. However, the fashion era is more loosely interpreted and extends back to 1795 and out to 1825.

The soft, easy flowing style of this era features a high Empire waist that falls just below the bust line and celebrates the natural form. This creates a beautiful vertical silhouette that is ageless, usually requiring no corset to achieve the look that was inspired by flowing Grecian robes. Fabrics were light and delicate. The look was more like a sheer nightgown than a dress. This required women to accessorize with flesh colored pantaloons, chemises to cover the exposed bosom during the day, and warmer fabrics and undergarments as the weather demanded. Wearing white was seen as sign of status and mostly worn at night. Lawn, muslin, and batiste were popular fabric choices. Our Regency era-inspired dresses are perfect for your summer event!

Recollections started out with the Victorian period clothing as the inspiration for its designs. The Victorian era encompassed most of the 18th century and corresponded with the the reign of Queen Victoria, 1837-1901. Recollections designs fashions that take you through the whole era.

Women were seen as embodying a fragile beauty whose place was firmly rooted in the home. Emphasis was placed on having a small waist. High necklines, dropped shoulders, and restrictive sleeves produced a demure appearance.

Fashion changes started out slowly, but picked up steam as technological advances, transportation, and communication improved throughout the century. The invention of the sewing machine altered fashion immeasurably. It ushered in the creation of fashion houses where designers could express themselves. Skirts continued to widen from a bell to a beehive dome shape, requiring as many as seven petticoats to achieve the look. Machine-sewn trims took center stage for a while. The development of aniline dyes ushered in new bright and vibrant color choices. The development of the hoop crinoline meant the end of wearing multiple layers of petticoats.

As skirts widened into the Civil War era, so did the neckline and sleeves. Evening wear featured bare shoulders, trimmed in such a way as to retain a lady's modesty. Sleeves resembled bells or pagodas and elegant detachable under sleeves to be featured.

The bustle made two appearances during the Victorian era. In the 1870s, fashions had a soft bustle that featured much drapery at the back of the skirt. The re-imagined polonaise jacket, which was also worn bustled, enhanced the look. The bustle reappeared in the 1880s. Taking a cue from the cage crinoline, hard cages created the shape.

As pioneers traveled toward the Pacific Ocean in the United States, fashion followed function. Women were taming the nation alongside their husbands, fathers, and brothers. Our pioneer section reflects this sensibility.

Our Old West section combines pioneer spirit with Victorian fashion. We feature designs that cover the variety of social stations of the women of the west. Prim and proper, ranch wives, saloon girls; we cover your days and nights.

The tailored suit came into fashion in the late 1880s and dominated the last decade of the 19th century. Women were entering the workforce and seeking emancipation. As the bustle faded at the beginning of the decade, the fabric draped into a train. The leg-o-mutton sleeve grew to huge proportions which required the skirt to widen and flare to balance them out. Small waistlines (or at least the appearance of one) were still in vogue. The blouson bodice created a mono-bosom that produced a pigeon effect. It also was the harbinger of what was to come in Edwardian period clothing.

By the beginning of the Edwardian era women opted for the more comfortable blouse and skirt. The sheath dress left the corset and petticoat behind. The tea gown gained popularity. These soft fabric garments were suitable for wearing at home while entertaining close friends. By the end of the era, tea gowns were worn everywhere.

The fashions of the Roaring 20s reflected the dawn of a new age for women and it was reflected in the free and easy fashions that defined the decade. From classic fashions reminiscent of Downton Abbey to the classic Flapper, Recollections has a Roaring 20s dress for you!

Whether the 1950s conjure images of June Cleaver vacuuming in her beautifully starched dress and pearls, a night out on the town, or anything in between, we have a retro dress for you. Finely tailored details and beautiful swing skirts help you be 'every inch a lady.'

Recollections also offers all of the accessories you need to complete your look for all of our fashion era-inspired garments. We have boots and shoes, stockings, chemises, petticoats, hoop crinolines, hats and hair ornaments, gloves, fans, parasols, reticules, and more. Let us dress you from head to toe!

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Size Chart

English / Metric
  24 68 1012 1416 1820 2224 2628 3032
BUST 3334 3536 3738 4042 4446 4850 5254 5658
WAIST 2425 2627 2830 3133 3537 3942 4447 5053

What size should I order?

Most people find that our sizing runs generously. If you are undecided with which size to order, it is best to order the smaller size, or give us a call to assist you (1-800-452-5925). You may also email us at with your measurements (bust and waist) and we can help you choose the nearest size.

An exception to the generous sizing is the type of ball gown that requires boning in the bodice and that supports a heavy skirt. Many times this style is also "off-the-shoulder" and requires a firm fit to stay up. These styles tend to not run as generously as most of our other garments because of this. But please, give us a call if you are uncertain.

In most cases you should take your bust and waist measurement to determine your size. Please wear the undergarments that you intend to wear when you do your measuring. For example, take your measurement over the type of brassiere or corset that you may be wearing.

Measure the fullest part of your bust around and the smallest part of your waist.


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