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, [...]

Ellen Demorest: Victorian fashion icon

By | November 27th, 2021|Categories: Civil War, Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|

Because I know so many of our customers love costuming, I have wanted to write a post on the early history of sewing patterns for a while now. Little did I know that the printed pattern industry can be traced back to the innovations of a forward-thinking activist who stood at the top of a [...]

Elegance at home: Victorian wrappers

By | November 21st, 2021|Categories: Fashion, Underpinnings, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , |

I have had a lot of fun exploring nightclothes from the past for the blog this year. And as always, I am a true lover of all things Victorian. As such, the topic of Victorian wrappers has been on my mind for some time.  I love that they mimic the shape of the popular dress [...]

What's in your reticule?

By | November 4th, 2021|Categories: Accessories, Edwardian Era, Edwardian Fashion, Fashion|Tags: , , , , , |

Can you imagine going from function to function with just a small pouch for your things? In the Edwardian era, that is exactly what women did, and they made sure to make a statement even with a tiny bag attached to their wrist. Handbags, reticules, and pouches weren’t as prominent in the Victorian era as [...]