Women's aprons through time

By | September 16th, 2021|Categories: 1950s Fashions, Downton Abbey, Fashion, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|

It occurred to me some months back that there are some very distinct trends when it comes to women’s aprons. We see them come and go through history and with specific styles when they do. Though we call anything meant to protect a woman’s clothing from harm caused by domestic duties an ‘apron’, they are [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Victorian and Edwardian Neckwear

By | April 13th, 2021|Categories: Accessories, Edwardian Era, Edwardian Fashion, Fashion, Pioneer Dress, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions|

How many pieces of detachable neckwear do you own? Easy answer, right? Well, in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, both women and men may have owned as much neckwear as we own earrings or hats today. In an era where clothing was largely handmade and held onto for years, neckwear was a great way to [...]

100 years of women's hairstyles: 1830-1930

By | March 19th, 2021|Categories: 1920s fashion, Fashion, Roaring 20s, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|

We are in an era of “do what you want” when it comes to women’s hair. I think that it is just as common to see a woman wearing a full up-do or otherwise styled hair as it is to see one with a ponytail and no prep at all. But it certainly wasn’t always [...]

How straw hats became shabby chic

By | March 5th, 2021|Categories: Edwardian Era, Edwardian Fashion, Fashion, Hats, Regency Era, Victorian Fashions|Tags: , , |

Does anyone else feel that it has been a long winter? It really is great to have the sun shining and to know that warmer days are ahead. It has me thinking about afternoons in the sun and relaxing under wide-brimmed hats with Aperol spritzes without a care in the world. All of this daydreaming [...]

Go Big or Go Home: The Merry Widow Hat

By | February 4th, 2021|Categories: Edwardian Fashion, Fashion, Hats, Victorian Fashions|Tags: , , , |

I have a lot of favorite fashions from the past. Big hats, also known as the Merry Widow Hat, are one of them. I think I just get such a kick out of how extreme the fashions of the Victorian and Edwardian eras were. Many women were looking for as many ways to stand out [...]

Godey's Lady's Book: what you didn't know

By | January 27th, 2021|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , |

I have always loved the stunning fashion plates from Godey's Lady's Book. I often go looking for them when researching different fashions from the past as they were considered to be the standard and the highest authority of fashion in print at the time. It was when I met with Nancy Jean Gray to discuss [...]