Category Archives: Girl Stuff

Beyond Bustles: Women’s Victorian Fashion

Editorial Note: All of the gorgeous dresses you’ll see here are on display or are in the collections of some of the great museums in the United States and Europe.  WordPress went nuts when I tried to include the URLs to their pages on the museum websites, so if you want to learn more about these beautiful garments, click the hyperlinks.

When I say “the 1980s”, what women’s fashions come to mind?  How about the 90s?  Or the 50s?  I’d ask what your answer are, but for one, I can’t hear you through the computer and two, you’ve probably answered “shoulder pads” for the 80s and I think we can all agree we don’t need to talk about shoulder pads.

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Admit it.  You wore them, too.

photo credit here

But I think I’ve achieved my point — mention a decade and people will readily answer with clothes that defined it.  And, thanks to Hollywood’s love affair with the period drama, the average person can usually point out that Jane Austen’s time period involved empire-waist dresses, the Civil War had hoop skirts, and the late Victorian Era was the home of the bustle.

The truth of the matter is that fashion is so much more interesting and oh, so much more complex than that.  Sleeve length.  Neckline.  Hemline.  Silhouette.  I could go on and on.  The lingo may be only partly familiar, or not at all.  I’m a historical reenactor; it’s my business to know these things.  But I started out like any one of you reading this right now – with absolutely no clue.  So I learned.  And so can you.

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Sidelined for now, it seems. Looking toward the winter…

Injuring an ankle practically on the eve of the biggest event this year has taken a lot of the wind out of my sails. I already missed one event, and now it looks like I’m going civilian to the big one. Soft tissue injuries can take six, eight, or more weeks to mend, and I’d have an even bigger problem on my hands if I went out there and re-injured myself while I was still healing. Keep an eye on Instagram; if my dinky phone gets internet access where we are I’ll certainly post photos of my mates on the field.

Looking ahead to this winter, I’ve planned a mish-mosh of posts for both the soldiers and the ladies. Just like the article I wrote for my friends at CliqUnited, I have posts in the works regarding women’s fashion, etc., as well as more anecdotes from past events. If there’s something you’d like to hear about, let me know! I love hearing from people. It encourages me to write more.  Thanks for sticking with me while I’ve been in a lull, and stay tuned for winter fun!

Reenactor Happiness…

…Is getting your new fake hair in the mail!

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It’s two feet of fake hair that’s detergent-washable.  HOW IS THAT NOT FUN?!? Continue reading