Victorian and Edwardian combination garments

By | May 22nd, 2022|Categories: Edwardian Era, Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions|

I love wearing petticoats! Recently I wrote a post about the history of petticoats and discovered that our readers love them as well. I am also a big fan of the history of the corset and its variations over time. It is therefore surprising that I have never done much digging into the history or [...]

The rise and fall of puffy sleeves

By | April 10th, 2022|Categories: Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions|Tags: , |

The Victorian era saw many extreme fashions that came and went relatively quickly. I have covered my favorites for Recollections, including the rise and fall of the bustle, which took place in the 1880s. I have tended to focus on extreme styles that emphasized the various trending silhouettes over the years, but there were also [...]

All about petticoats

By | March 27th, 2022|Categories: Fashion, Underpinnings, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions|Tags: , , |

Some people like to dress up, and some people don’t. Personally, nothing makes me feel more regal and confident than a full skirt with a petticoat underneath. Besides this, most of the fashion trends that I have studied involve women’s clothing that required a petticoat to wear properly, yet I have never done much reading [...]

Victorian parasols: dainty and demure

By | March 7th, 2022|Categories: Accessories, Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions|

I love parasols. They are dainty, delicate, and automatically find you feeling demure when using one. While still in use today, they very much peaked in popularity in the Victorian era, when they were seen as status symbols, indications of a sense of style, and yet another flirting tool. I have been looking forward to [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]