Victorian traveling dress: guidelines for a proper lady

By | March 3rd, 2022|Categories: Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , |

The travel bug has bitten me once again! I have been a world traveler my entire adult life and found it challenging to stay put the last two years, though I did gain a lot from doing so. My first trip since the beginning of the pandemic was my glorious Christmas holiday to Tombstone Monument [...]

The look of the New Woman: late Victorian tailored suits

By | February 22nd, 2022|Categories: Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|

When many of us think about Gilded Age fashions we think of over-the-top evening gowns, bustles, and pure opulence. While these types of styles may have dominated the fashion world of the early Gilded Age, by the end of the century an entirely new look was trending: tailored suits. Made for everything from walking to [...]

Gilded Age Fashions

By | February 17th, 2022|Categories: Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions|

Last week I shared a short intro to the Gilded Age and how it got its name. It was a time of enormous excess among the upper classes of society and rapidly changing cultural norms as the Progressive Era got underway. These trends are pointedly reflected in Gilded Age fashions worn by women. The excess [...]

Stomachers: 18th century status symbols

By | January 29th, 2022|Categories: Accessories, Fashion, Revolutionary War era, Underpinnings|Tags: , |

What if you could have all of the best aspects of your favorite outfit but look like you were wearing something new to every party? This is exactly what stomachers did for the elite back in the 16th through 18th centuries. The surviving examples are beautiful insights into both the artistry of the time and [...]

Pannier, robe à la française, and robe à la anglais: what's what

By | January 18th, 2022|Categories: Fashion, Polonaise, Underpinnings, Women's History|

The classic French pannier dresses of the 18th century have been a long-time interest of mine but something that I have never delved into studying. Recently I purchased a set of antique brass bells online and when they arrived I was pleased that one of the bells is shaped like a woman wearing what I [...]

Bloomers: the national controversy of the 1890s

By | January 13th, 2022|Categories: Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , , , |

This weekend I have been hard at work preparing a presentation for Historic New England titled: The Dress Reform Movement: Who, What, When, Where, and HOW. One of the points I love making in my presentations is that the radical nature of the bloomers and the public outcry that they caused when they momentarily returned to [...]

Irene Castle: Flapper Era’s Best Dressed

By | December 15th, 2021|Categories: 1920s fashion, Edwardian Era, Edwardian Fashion, Entertainment, Fashion, Women's History|

I have often seen references to "Irene Castle Corticelli" in my research for Recollections blog posts but didn’t know much about the woman behind the brand. I love studying the lives of women related to the fashion industry of the 1910s and 1920s so have had her on my list for a while. I was [...]

Edwardian motoring fashions

By | December 8th, 2021|Categories: Edwardian Era, Edwardian Fashion, Fashion, Women's History|Tags: , , |

I recently gave a presentation on women and the Victorian bicycle craze and explored the way that women’s fashion was examined as the popularity of the bicycle. At the end of the presentation, I touched briefly on the next craze on wheels that hit the public, the automobile. I showed a selection of images from [...]

Art deco fashion: dresses and gowns

By | December 4th, 2021|Categories: 1920s fashion, Edwardian Era, Fashion|Tags: , , , , |

The 1910 and early 1920s is one of my favorite periods of fashion history. It fascinates me that women’s fashion took such a drastic turn from the strict silhouette looks of the Victorian era to long, loose, sleek lines. I love the creativity of the era. And naturally, I LOVE anything art deco. Yet still, [...]