How often have you poured over the lovely clothing on the Recollections site and while admiring a particular romantic item had the thought, “Where would I ever wear it?” intrude and spoil your enjoyment? We have all done that, but some – who just adore wearing these beautiful clothes – have overcome this question by simply making opportunities to wear them. Here at Recollections, we hear from so many of you about the creative events that provide an opportunity to show off your romantic side. We thought you might like to hear about some of them, and perhaps “chime in” with your own favorite ideas and events where you like to dress-up.
Of course if you are a member of a society or social group where dressing “in period” is encouraged, you hardly need to worry about not wearing your fancy clothes very often. If you are not already a member, have a look around your community to see if there is a Victorian Society or a re-enactment group. For example, in Prescott, Arizona, where one of our writers lives, there are no fewer than five groups who dress in period attire – there is a Victorian Society, and Opera House Guild (who dress in Edwardian attire), and several old-west re-enactment groups. In addition, the local historical museum offers several programs during the year where docents and the public are encouraged to dress up. Two very widespread organizations that come to mind are the RGA (Reenactment Guild of America) and SASS (the Single Action Shooting Society). Both of these organizations encourage period dressing. If you are fortunate enough to live in the southern states, of course there are any number of Civil War re-enactment groups who would welcome your participation, as Susan and Shelby discovered a few months ago. As an added incentive, the gents seem to love to dress up as cowboys or period military!
Some destination points offer opportunities to dress in period attire as well. In Michigan, which is where Recollections calls home, there is the fabulous Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
This beautiful historic hotel was the setting for the movie “Somewhere in Time”, and in addition to hosting a “Somewhere in Time” weekend each year, they also offer other package getaways where period attire is welcomed. For example, they will be hosting a Titanic-themed weekend this year to honor the 100th anniversary of that voyage. Imagine strolling through the hotel and the car-free paths and walkways of the island dressed in full Edwardian garb, complete with a fabulous feathered hat and parasol! In Durango, they have Durango Heritage Celebration, where for three entire days the beautifully refurbished Strater Hotel becomes the focus of events like a Victorian Tea, hat-making and antique firearms demonstrations, and the famous Durango and Silverton Railroad offers a special ride that is open to only Victorian-clad time travelers. There is also a Victorian-themed dinner, and a Grand Victorian Ball.
Of course, you don’t have to travel for an excuse to dress up. Some of our Recollections clients have shared that they and several friends have started having “Downton Abbey” get-togethers. Downton Abbey is a TV series set in 1912 to the WWI era that is being aired by the BBC, and is on its way to having a cult following in the US. The costumes are wonderful! In Prescott, our writer Sue and her friends often decide to have a meal out or go to a local tea house wearing their Victorian garb. When the weather is nice, they sometimes just stroll around the courthouse square – much to the delight of local businesses and tourists. “When else can women our age have complete strangers approach them on the street to tell them how lovely we are?” says Sue. “It is true that dressing in period attire changes the way people react. Women smile at you, and gents tend to hold open doors and tip their hats.”
You might also check out our Recollections “Featured Ladies” and “Customer Photo Gallery” pages. Most of the ladies on these pages have taken that extra step to allow themselves (and their friends!) to live in the moment – in their case that moment is in a gentler, more romantic time than present day. So what is your favorite event to dress up for? Do you make it happen, or is it something offered in your community? We would love to hear about when and where you wear your most romantic clothing.