Achieving the Gibson Girl S-silhouette: it's all about the padding

By | August 17th, 2021|Categories: Edwardian Era, Edwardian Fashion, Fashion, Women's History|Tags: , , , |

If there is one thing that visually defines the Edwardian era it is the Gibson Girl and that short-lived but highly distinguishable S-silhouette. The look was a far cry from the silhouette of the Victorian era: a skirt expanding at the waist with a very fitted bodice. Rather than being defined from a front view, [...]

What would you keep on your chatelaine?

By | August 7th, 2021|Categories: Accessories, Fashion, Victorian Era, Women's History|Tags: , , |

The time has come! I have been wanting to dive into the history of the chatelaine and this week I got the chance. And you know what? I often get excited about the posts I write for Recollections, and this one had me clapping my hands in joy a few times. Not only are the [...]

The truth about the Edwardian Hobble Skirt

By | August 4th, 2021|Categories: Downton Abbey, Edwardian Era, Edwardian Fashion, Fashion, Women's History|

The beginning of the 20th century was an exciting one for fashion. During the 1800s women’s clothing had some interesting “outliers” such as Regency fashions, but overall the standards of what was acceptable remained within a small window. The Edwardian era would completely change that forever. We see an artistic desire for experimentation with clothing [...]

Bonnets through history: can you tell them apart?

By | July 25th, 2021|Categories: Accessories, Edwardian Era, Edwardian Fashion, Fashion, Hats, Old West, Pioneer Dress, Regency Era, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , , , , |

Last summer I had quite a fun time exploring how the straw hat went from an accessory used mostly by laborers to a shabby chic accessory still enjoyed today. I discovered that bonnets have a similar history, although they started out being used to protect hair while working, were extremely chic for a century or [...]

Victorian riding habits: more than meets the eye

By | June 27th, 2021|Categories: Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , , , |

Last week I wrote about the Victorian home workout and the various attitudes about female exercise of the time. I included illustrations from exercise 19th century fitness manuals which showed women performing various exercises in their full proper dress of the time; corsets, petticoats, and all. Clothing had not yet evolved to a point where [...]

A chat with the American Prohibition Museum

By | June 23rd, 2021|Categories: 1920s fashion, Roaring 20s, Women's History|Tags: , , |

I recently had the great opportunity to sit down with Travis Spangenburg, creative and production manager for the American Prohibition Museum in Savannah. We had a memorable chat about why the Prohibition Era is such an important part of our country’s history and how the museum is keeping its memory alive. As a Prohibition enthusiast [...]

The history of the suntan: Victorian era to Flapper era

By | June 17th, 2021|Categories: 1920s fashion, Fashion, Roaring 20s, Victorian Era, Women's History|Tags: , , , , , |

Summer is here and it is sure to be the best many of us have ever had. It will certainly be a lot more carefree than last year, and that means a lot of time outdoors with loved ones. Last summer I did a fun series on the history of beach culture in America and [...]

The early history of mail-order catalogs

By | June 11th, 2021|Categories: Fashion, Old West, Victorian Era, Women's History|Tags: , , |

You might think that you can purchase any and all things you might be able to think of through your Amazon Prime app. A hundred a fifty years ago this is what people were thinking as they turned the pages of the recent Sears catalog. But instead of a few taps, sought-after items were requested [...]

Before fashion magazines there were fashion dolls

By | May 27th, 2021|Categories: Fashion, Regency Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|

How useful is a painting for deciding whether or not to buy a dress? Or to describe today’s fashion trends? I’d say, it probably wouldn’t be all that effective. For many centuries women have favored multi-dimensional images over flat paintings or drawings for viewing clothing. From the 1300s to the 1800s the elite throughout Europe [...]