Regency Storage

Chest
Sandra O’Connor asks: “. . .exactly how large would the (storage) wardrobe generally be for a lady of the ton.”

Pat here: The wenches do try to answer reader questions as time permits, but we get so absorbed in our own research that the really good questions are left to languish until we come out of our writing caves. Since I just wrote The End on my draft, I reached into the question hat today. Sandra O’Connor has an excellent query about how ladies of the ton managed to store all those beautiful gowns and petticoats and whatnot in which we dress our heroines. Sandra, I owe you a book!

Of course, in all things historical, there is no one simple answer, which is why writing historicals allows us to let our imaginations run rampant. Which ladies and which era can open a whole raft of different answers, and when you live in houses that have been around for centuries. . . one can have anything one desires with a tweak here or there.

1024px-Armoire_bâloise-Musée_de_l'Œuvre_Notre-Dame_de_Strasbourg_(1)For instance—armoires. These date back to medieval times, particularly French. Originally, they were enormous cupboards where all the knightly armor was tucked away. These things were typically the size of eight small men, so they didn’t get moved around much. But if your lord or lady lives in a medieval castle, they might very well have an armoire. And as years passed, these armoires often acquired rods and hooks for hanging clothes, especially when fashion dictated enormous skirts and coats that would be crushed in a typical storage trunk or drawer. But armoires were made of wood and deteriorated over the centuries—as did the castles large enough to contain them. Fashions changed, billowing skirts and coats vanished, and eight-man closets became less necessary. Besides, who wants a castle when a lovely Georgian mansion with a landscaped garden is the thing—and armoires fit for a castle no longer suited fashionable chambers. Besides that, by Georgian times, oak was virtually impossible to obtain and England was importing furniture from upstart places like the Americas. Armoires were not meant for transport.

So by the Georgian era, spacious hanging rods for clothes were basically left to shopkeepers. Those lovely mansions had wall-papered chambers designed to hold elegant furniture, often gorgeously carved and inlaid works of art. (image is Chippendale drawing) Closets weren’t unknown if my lady had a suite of 1024px-Clothes_Chest_and_Clothes_Press _from_Chippendale_Drawings _Vol._II_MET_DP118224rooms. But a closet was basically storage, often hidden because one wouldn’t want to mar the beauty of the chamber with needless doors. Or better yet, there was a dressing room where the maid kept all the boxes and tidbits tidily tucked away on shelves until needed. Terraced townhouses in the city were less likely to have extra chambers, but they might enclose a nook beside the chimney for hidden shelving.

Typically, my lady’s bedchamber furniture might include a trunk type chest, where one lifts the lid and digs down into the depths, probably for heavier items like cloaks. Although I suppose gentlemen might store half their bulky wardrobe in there as long as they had a valet to iron it out. Their starched shirts were more likely to be on shelves or in drawers. A less wealthy household might only have a chest for clothes storage, but then, they’d not have many clothes to store. (Isobel Carr has some nice images of clothing storage here.)

American 1760 Clothes_Press_MET_ADA267Then there were the lovely chests of drawers for smaller items, delicate chemises and stockings and ribbons and items that needed to be sorted. By this period, the armoire had been reduced to a clothes press, with drawers on the bottom and pull-out shelves behind closed doors on top.  Keeping in mind that Regency gowns were often little more than a slip of muslin, they didn’t need much space. Even an evening gown from the era could easily be folded away. One can understand why preparations for a ball might entail much time and confusion as gowns were dug out and ironed, matching stockings and undergarments sorted, and heaven forbid there be a tear anywhere in that delicate fabric!

I know we bestow fabulous stacks of gowns on our heroines, but in truth, most women simply bought a new gown or two each year, then modified older gowns with bits of lace and braid, and dressed them up with a new shawl or bonnet. They might switch one bodice with another—those ladies’ maids were extremely useful if my lady didn’t sew. At the end of the 1808 hatsseason, they’d discard the outmoded or worn—or give it to the ladies’ maid. Anything deemed worthy of another season might be tucked away in a trunk in the attic when the new season’s clothing was carried down. Accessories, requiring all those drawers and shelves, were the bulk of a lady’s wardrobe—hats, shawls, gloves, adorable little spencers, shoes, boots. . . and all the trim necessary to update when inspired.

It wasn’t until the fuller gowns of the Victorian era emerged that those armoires—or wardrobes as they were often called since they weren’t storing armor anymore—came back into fashion. The walnut clothes press probably imported from New England grew a little larger and might sport a short rod for hanging billowing gowns or perhaps hoops, Underskirtspetticoats, and bustles. But drawers and shelves were still the main means of storage. (I am trying to picture shoving a springy crinoline into a trunk. . .)

I think I need to create a heroine who has just gone on a marvelous shopping spree, comes home to discover she’s run out of furniture, and invents the closet.

Surely most of us remember the tiny closets in houses built before the 1970’s? Walk-in closets were reserved for the wealthy. However did we find room for all our shirts and dresses back then? What kind of closet did you have growing up?

110 thoughts on “Regency Storage”

  1. As someone who has worn crinolines specific to the 1860s. They collapse down nicely and are stored in bags. Easy to handle while traveling to events or hang up flat in a closet so it doesn’t take up valuable room. They wore bell crinolines in the early 1860s and eventually they became elliptical toward the end of the War and fully elliptical by 1867. They don’t look anything like the conical “bridal” crinolines that are used to support the wedding gowns of today. Historically, the dresses were stored flat or in their boxes as hanging on pegs, handers, or even hanger-forms would cause so much stress on the seams the fine dresses would not last a season. The big lovely ball gowns we all love to drool over in museums are stored that way otherwise they would disintegrate. Very few of those dresses exist intact as they were stored away in a cool, dry, vermin-free place, away from light like an attic (or even a tight barn) and completely forgotten about until a curious person came in to see what was stored there. Hanger-forms were coming into fashion during the Regency Period as men’s bespoke jackets, or dress military coatees, needed it to keep the buckram mesh reinforced shoulders, backs and chests in the jackets needed them to retain their shape.

    Reply
  2. As someone who has worn crinolines specific to the 1860s. They collapse down nicely and are stored in bags. Easy to handle while traveling to events or hang up flat in a closet so it doesn’t take up valuable room. They wore bell crinolines in the early 1860s and eventually they became elliptical toward the end of the War and fully elliptical by 1867. They don’t look anything like the conical “bridal” crinolines that are used to support the wedding gowns of today. Historically, the dresses were stored flat or in their boxes as hanging on pegs, handers, or even hanger-forms would cause so much stress on the seams the fine dresses would not last a season. The big lovely ball gowns we all love to drool over in museums are stored that way otherwise they would disintegrate. Very few of those dresses exist intact as they were stored away in a cool, dry, vermin-free place, away from light like an attic (or even a tight barn) and completely forgotten about until a curious person came in to see what was stored there. Hanger-forms were coming into fashion during the Regency Period as men’s bespoke jackets, or dress military coatees, needed it to keep the buckram mesh reinforced shoulders, backs and chests in the jackets needed them to retain their shape.

    Reply
  3. As someone who has worn crinolines specific to the 1860s. They collapse down nicely and are stored in bags. Easy to handle while traveling to events or hang up flat in a closet so it doesn’t take up valuable room. They wore bell crinolines in the early 1860s and eventually they became elliptical toward the end of the War and fully elliptical by 1867. They don’t look anything like the conical “bridal” crinolines that are used to support the wedding gowns of today. Historically, the dresses were stored flat or in their boxes as hanging on pegs, handers, or even hanger-forms would cause so much stress on the seams the fine dresses would not last a season. The big lovely ball gowns we all love to drool over in museums are stored that way otherwise they would disintegrate. Very few of those dresses exist intact as they were stored away in a cool, dry, vermin-free place, away from light like an attic (or even a tight barn) and completely forgotten about until a curious person came in to see what was stored there. Hanger-forms were coming into fashion during the Regency Period as men’s bespoke jackets, or dress military coatees, needed it to keep the buckram mesh reinforced shoulders, backs and chests in the jackets needed them to retain their shape.

    Reply
  4. As someone who has worn crinolines specific to the 1860s. They collapse down nicely and are stored in bags. Easy to handle while traveling to events or hang up flat in a closet so it doesn’t take up valuable room. They wore bell crinolines in the early 1860s and eventually they became elliptical toward the end of the War and fully elliptical by 1867. They don’t look anything like the conical “bridal” crinolines that are used to support the wedding gowns of today. Historically, the dresses were stored flat or in their boxes as hanging on pegs, handers, or even hanger-forms would cause so much stress on the seams the fine dresses would not last a season. The big lovely ball gowns we all love to drool over in museums are stored that way otherwise they would disintegrate. Very few of those dresses exist intact as they were stored away in a cool, dry, vermin-free place, away from light like an attic (or even a tight barn) and completely forgotten about until a curious person came in to see what was stored there. Hanger-forms were coming into fashion during the Regency Period as men’s bespoke jackets, or dress military coatees, needed it to keep the buckram mesh reinforced shoulders, backs and chests in the jackets needed them to retain their shape.

    Reply
  5. As someone who has worn crinolines specific to the 1860s. They collapse down nicely and are stored in bags. Easy to handle while traveling to events or hang up flat in a closet so it doesn’t take up valuable room. They wore bell crinolines in the early 1860s and eventually they became elliptical toward the end of the War and fully elliptical by 1867. They don’t look anything like the conical “bridal” crinolines that are used to support the wedding gowns of today. Historically, the dresses were stored flat or in their boxes as hanging on pegs, handers, or even hanger-forms would cause so much stress on the seams the fine dresses would not last a season. The big lovely ball gowns we all love to drool over in museums are stored that way otherwise they would disintegrate. Very few of those dresses exist intact as they were stored away in a cool, dry, vermin-free place, away from light like an attic (or even a tight barn) and completely forgotten about until a curious person came in to see what was stored there. Hanger-forms were coming into fashion during the Regency Period as men’s bespoke jackets, or dress military coatees, needed it to keep the buckram mesh reinforced shoulders, backs and chests in the jackets needed them to retain their shape.

    Reply
  6. Bless you for this information! I could imagine the crinoline rings collapsing but they were so wide, I could not imagine a place large enough to store them. And I hadn’t even looked into how gentlemen of the Regency kept their nice shapes. Victorian men’s clothing was much looser, so I didn’t worry about it. This is great info, thank you!

    Reply
  7. Bless you for this information! I could imagine the crinoline rings collapsing but they were so wide, I could not imagine a place large enough to store them. And I hadn’t even looked into how gentlemen of the Regency kept their nice shapes. Victorian men’s clothing was much looser, so I didn’t worry about it. This is great info, thank you!

    Reply
  8. Bless you for this information! I could imagine the crinoline rings collapsing but they were so wide, I could not imagine a place large enough to store them. And I hadn’t even looked into how gentlemen of the Regency kept their nice shapes. Victorian men’s clothing was much looser, so I didn’t worry about it. This is great info, thank you!

    Reply
  9. Bless you for this information! I could imagine the crinoline rings collapsing but they were so wide, I could not imagine a place large enough to store them. And I hadn’t even looked into how gentlemen of the Regency kept their nice shapes. Victorian men’s clothing was much looser, so I didn’t worry about it. This is great info, thank you!

    Reply
  10. Bless you for this information! I could imagine the crinoline rings collapsing but they were so wide, I could not imagine a place large enough to store them. And I hadn’t even looked into how gentlemen of the Regency kept their nice shapes. Victorian men’s clothing was much looser, so I didn’t worry about it. This is great info, thank you!

    Reply
  11. Bespoke clothing may not have been armored with buckram in the Victorian and later eras as it was in the regency or in those lovely uniforms, but they are still cut to fit the man in such a way that it hangs in that supermascaline way that is nothing like the “ditto” suits (first “off the rack” type clothing that was sized to fit a similar sized men) which hung on a man like a sack. I can imagine a soldier wearing a coatee taking a moment to adjust the the shoulders to perfection before he opened the carriage door to assist his lady down.

    Reply
  12. Bespoke clothing may not have been armored with buckram in the Victorian and later eras as it was in the regency or in those lovely uniforms, but they are still cut to fit the man in such a way that it hangs in that supermascaline way that is nothing like the “ditto” suits (first “off the rack” type clothing that was sized to fit a similar sized men) which hung on a man like a sack. I can imagine a soldier wearing a coatee taking a moment to adjust the the shoulders to perfection before he opened the carriage door to assist his lady down.

    Reply
  13. Bespoke clothing may not have been armored with buckram in the Victorian and later eras as it was in the regency or in those lovely uniforms, but they are still cut to fit the man in such a way that it hangs in that supermascaline way that is nothing like the “ditto” suits (first “off the rack” type clothing that was sized to fit a similar sized men) which hung on a man like a sack. I can imagine a soldier wearing a coatee taking a moment to adjust the the shoulders to perfection before he opened the carriage door to assist his lady down.

    Reply
  14. Bespoke clothing may not have been armored with buckram in the Victorian and later eras as it was in the regency or in those lovely uniforms, but they are still cut to fit the man in such a way that it hangs in that supermascaline way that is nothing like the “ditto” suits (first “off the rack” type clothing that was sized to fit a similar sized men) which hung on a man like a sack. I can imagine a soldier wearing a coatee taking a moment to adjust the the shoulders to perfection before he opened the carriage door to assist his lady down.

    Reply
  15. Bespoke clothing may not have been armored with buckram in the Victorian and later eras as it was in the regency or in those lovely uniforms, but they are still cut to fit the man in such a way that it hangs in that supermascaline way that is nothing like the “ditto” suits (first “off the rack” type clothing that was sized to fit a similar sized men) which hung on a man like a sack. I can imagine a soldier wearing a coatee taking a moment to adjust the the shoulders to perfection before he opened the carriage door to assist his lady down.

    Reply
  16. I really had to laugh at your question. Growing up I shared my bedroom with my two sisters. Our father built our room in the unfinished second floor of the Cape Cod style tract home my parents bought new in 1954. The closet was 6’x30” with one hanging rod, no shelves and no door! Made it hard to clean our room by just shoving stuff in the closet. Maybe that was the method to his madness? Rod was even too low to properly hang a long prom dress. But we survived. Thanks for an interesting read.

    Reply
  17. I really had to laugh at your question. Growing up I shared my bedroom with my two sisters. Our father built our room in the unfinished second floor of the Cape Cod style tract home my parents bought new in 1954. The closet was 6’x30” with one hanging rod, no shelves and no door! Made it hard to clean our room by just shoving stuff in the closet. Maybe that was the method to his madness? Rod was even too low to properly hang a long prom dress. But we survived. Thanks for an interesting read.

    Reply
  18. I really had to laugh at your question. Growing up I shared my bedroom with my two sisters. Our father built our room in the unfinished second floor of the Cape Cod style tract home my parents bought new in 1954. The closet was 6’x30” with one hanging rod, no shelves and no door! Made it hard to clean our room by just shoving stuff in the closet. Maybe that was the method to his madness? Rod was even too low to properly hang a long prom dress. But we survived. Thanks for an interesting read.

    Reply
  19. I really had to laugh at your question. Growing up I shared my bedroom with my two sisters. Our father built our room in the unfinished second floor of the Cape Cod style tract home my parents bought new in 1954. The closet was 6’x30” with one hanging rod, no shelves and no door! Made it hard to clean our room by just shoving stuff in the closet. Maybe that was the method to his madness? Rod was even too low to properly hang a long prom dress. But we survived. Thanks for an interesting read.

    Reply
  20. I really had to laugh at your question. Growing up I shared my bedroom with my two sisters. Our father built our room in the unfinished second floor of the Cape Cod style tract home my parents bought new in 1954. The closet was 6’x30” with one hanging rod, no shelves and no door! Made it hard to clean our room by just shoving stuff in the closet. Maybe that was the method to his madness? Rod was even too low to properly hang a long prom dress. But we survived. Thanks for an interesting read.

    Reply
  21. lovely image! The question becomes, by say the 1880s, how many fellows were still buying tailored clothing and how many bought off a rack? I need to research department stores sometime. I know Harrods started in the 1830s and there were certainly others, but I don’t know about independent clothing stores. I just assume my heroes can afford tailored!

    Reply
  22. lovely image! The question becomes, by say the 1880s, how many fellows were still buying tailored clothing and how many bought off a rack? I need to research department stores sometime. I know Harrods started in the 1830s and there were certainly others, but I don’t know about independent clothing stores. I just assume my heroes can afford tailored!

    Reply
  23. lovely image! The question becomes, by say the 1880s, how many fellows were still buying tailored clothing and how many bought off a rack? I need to research department stores sometime. I know Harrods started in the 1830s and there were certainly others, but I don’t know about independent clothing stores. I just assume my heroes can afford tailored!

    Reply
  24. lovely image! The question becomes, by say the 1880s, how many fellows were still buying tailored clothing and how many bought off a rack? I need to research department stores sometime. I know Harrods started in the 1830s and there were certainly others, but I don’t know about independent clothing stores. I just assume my heroes can afford tailored!

    Reply
  25. lovely image! The question becomes, by say the 1880s, how many fellows were still buying tailored clothing and how many bought off a rack? I need to research department stores sometime. I know Harrods started in the 1830s and there were certainly others, but I don’t know about independent clothing stores. I just assume my heroes can afford tailored!

    Reply
  26. I live in a small two bedroom house that was built back in the late 40s. Perfect for one person, but they were built for families. I think we did more with less back then.
    In my younger days when I had a lot of clothes, I used both bedroom closets and also had an armoire in each bedroom. The armoires were much smaller than the one shown above.
    However, when I was a child, I had an aunt and two uncles (siblings) who lived on a farm. My aunt had a huge armoire in her bedroom. It was as big as the one shown above, but not nearly as ornate. My uncles each had something they called a chifferobe. They were a smaller version of an armoire. One half had a compartment to hang clothes and the other side was a chest of drawers.
    When I read about all the clothes the “ladies” had and how often they changed back then, I can see why they needed an army of servants.
    Great Post.

    Reply
  27. I live in a small two bedroom house that was built back in the late 40s. Perfect for one person, but they were built for families. I think we did more with less back then.
    In my younger days when I had a lot of clothes, I used both bedroom closets and also had an armoire in each bedroom. The armoires were much smaller than the one shown above.
    However, when I was a child, I had an aunt and two uncles (siblings) who lived on a farm. My aunt had a huge armoire in her bedroom. It was as big as the one shown above, but not nearly as ornate. My uncles each had something they called a chifferobe. They were a smaller version of an armoire. One half had a compartment to hang clothes and the other side was a chest of drawers.
    When I read about all the clothes the “ladies” had and how often they changed back then, I can see why they needed an army of servants.
    Great Post.

    Reply
  28. I live in a small two bedroom house that was built back in the late 40s. Perfect for one person, but they were built for families. I think we did more with less back then.
    In my younger days when I had a lot of clothes, I used both bedroom closets and also had an armoire in each bedroom. The armoires were much smaller than the one shown above.
    However, when I was a child, I had an aunt and two uncles (siblings) who lived on a farm. My aunt had a huge armoire in her bedroom. It was as big as the one shown above, but not nearly as ornate. My uncles each had something they called a chifferobe. They were a smaller version of an armoire. One half had a compartment to hang clothes and the other side was a chest of drawers.
    When I read about all the clothes the “ladies” had and how often they changed back then, I can see why they needed an army of servants.
    Great Post.

    Reply
  29. I live in a small two bedroom house that was built back in the late 40s. Perfect for one person, but they were built for families. I think we did more with less back then.
    In my younger days when I had a lot of clothes, I used both bedroom closets and also had an armoire in each bedroom. The armoires were much smaller than the one shown above.
    However, when I was a child, I had an aunt and two uncles (siblings) who lived on a farm. My aunt had a huge armoire in her bedroom. It was as big as the one shown above, but not nearly as ornate. My uncles each had something they called a chifferobe. They were a smaller version of an armoire. One half had a compartment to hang clothes and the other side was a chest of drawers.
    When I read about all the clothes the “ladies” had and how often they changed back then, I can see why they needed an army of servants.
    Great Post.

    Reply
  30. I live in a small two bedroom house that was built back in the late 40s. Perfect for one person, but they were built for families. I think we did more with less back then.
    In my younger days when I had a lot of clothes, I used both bedroom closets and also had an armoire in each bedroom. The armoires were much smaller than the one shown above.
    However, when I was a child, I had an aunt and two uncles (siblings) who lived on a farm. My aunt had a huge armoire in her bedroom. It was as big as the one shown above, but not nearly as ornate. My uncles each had something they called a chifferobe. They were a smaller version of an armoire. One half had a compartment to hang clothes and the other side was a chest of drawers.
    When I read about all the clothes the “ladies” had and how often they changed back then, I can see why they needed an army of servants.
    Great Post.

    Reply
  31. Yes, chifferobes! First showed up in a Sears catalog in the early 1900s, I think. Im guessing they were an American terminology.
    But its amazing how much room our clothes take up these days compared to prior decades, not because the clothes are large but because we have so many!

    Reply
  32. Yes, chifferobes! First showed up in a Sears catalog in the early 1900s, I think. Im guessing they were an American terminology.
    But its amazing how much room our clothes take up these days compared to prior decades, not because the clothes are large but because we have so many!

    Reply
  33. Yes, chifferobes! First showed up in a Sears catalog in the early 1900s, I think. Im guessing they were an American terminology.
    But its amazing how much room our clothes take up these days compared to prior decades, not because the clothes are large but because we have so many!

    Reply
  34. Yes, chifferobes! First showed up in a Sears catalog in the early 1900s, I think. Im guessing they were an American terminology.
    But its amazing how much room our clothes take up these days compared to prior decades, not because the clothes are large but because we have so many!

    Reply
  35. Yes, chifferobes! First showed up in a Sears catalog in the early 1900s, I think. Im guessing they were an American terminology.
    But its amazing how much room our clothes take up these days compared to prior decades, not because the clothes are large but because we have so many!

    Reply
  36. Thanks for your fascinating post, Patricia. My husband and I live in a house that was built in 1953. The original two (not too large) bedrooms each have a good sized closet with sliding doors. We use what was once the garage as our bedroom. We bought matching free standing closets for our clothes; they are not nearly as lovely as the pieces you showed!

    Reply
  37. Thanks for your fascinating post, Patricia. My husband and I live in a house that was built in 1953. The original two (not too large) bedrooms each have a good sized closet with sliding doors. We use what was once the garage as our bedroom. We bought matching free standing closets for our clothes; they are not nearly as lovely as the pieces you showed!

    Reply
  38. Thanks for your fascinating post, Patricia. My husband and I live in a house that was built in 1953. The original two (not too large) bedrooms each have a good sized closet with sliding doors. We use what was once the garage as our bedroom. We bought matching free standing closets for our clothes; they are not nearly as lovely as the pieces you showed!

    Reply
  39. Thanks for your fascinating post, Patricia. My husband and I live in a house that was built in 1953. The original two (not too large) bedrooms each have a good sized closet with sliding doors. We use what was once the garage as our bedroom. We bought matching free standing closets for our clothes; they are not nearly as lovely as the pieces you showed!

    Reply
  40. Thanks for your fascinating post, Patricia. My husband and I live in a house that was built in 1953. The original two (not too large) bedrooms each have a good sized closet with sliding doors. We use what was once the garage as our bedroom. We bought matching free standing closets for our clothes; they are not nearly as lovely as the pieces you showed!

    Reply
  41. When I was growing up in the sixties little girls still wore dresses to school and church. My three sisters and I shared a room with one small closet. Laundry and ironing were done in the basement and mama had two big racks down there that we hung our clothing on as we ironed it. I know I was doing laundry by the time I was ten years old (kids had chores) I remember racing downstairs for a dress in the morning because there just wasn’t any room in the closet.

    Reply
  42. When I was growing up in the sixties little girls still wore dresses to school and church. My three sisters and I shared a room with one small closet. Laundry and ironing were done in the basement and mama had two big racks down there that we hung our clothing on as we ironed it. I know I was doing laundry by the time I was ten years old (kids had chores) I remember racing downstairs for a dress in the morning because there just wasn’t any room in the closet.

    Reply
  43. When I was growing up in the sixties little girls still wore dresses to school and church. My three sisters and I shared a room with one small closet. Laundry and ironing were done in the basement and mama had two big racks down there that we hung our clothing on as we ironed it. I know I was doing laundry by the time I was ten years old (kids had chores) I remember racing downstairs for a dress in the morning because there just wasn’t any room in the closet.

    Reply
  44. When I was growing up in the sixties little girls still wore dresses to school and church. My three sisters and I shared a room with one small closet. Laundry and ironing were done in the basement and mama had two big racks down there that we hung our clothing on as we ironed it. I know I was doing laundry by the time I was ten years old (kids had chores) I remember racing downstairs for a dress in the morning because there just wasn’t any room in the closet.

    Reply
  45. When I was growing up in the sixties little girls still wore dresses to school and church. My three sisters and I shared a room with one small closet. Laundry and ironing were done in the basement and mama had two big racks down there that we hung our clothing on as we ironed it. I know I was doing laundry by the time I was ten years old (kids had chores) I remember racing downstairs for a dress in the morning because there just wasn’t any room in the closet.

    Reply
  46. Funny, I know I wore circle skirts and crinoline petticoats in high school in the ’50s, but I’m at a loss about storing them. I think the crinoline was of starched nylon net, bunched for volume by horizontal rows of ribbon. (I vaguely remember ironing mine, which was a tedious chore.) Between that and the actual skirt, there would have been a softer starched petticoat, also gathered for volume. And probably an unstarched half-slip between the scratchy crinoline and my legs. I had a decent closet and probably only one or two each of those items, so no trauma. But _how_ they were hung is a mystery to me now. Fun to revisit those days, though.

    Reply
  47. Funny, I know I wore circle skirts and crinoline petticoats in high school in the ’50s, but I’m at a loss about storing them. I think the crinoline was of starched nylon net, bunched for volume by horizontal rows of ribbon. (I vaguely remember ironing mine, which was a tedious chore.) Between that and the actual skirt, there would have been a softer starched petticoat, also gathered for volume. And probably an unstarched half-slip between the scratchy crinoline and my legs. I had a decent closet and probably only one or two each of those items, so no trauma. But _how_ they were hung is a mystery to me now. Fun to revisit those days, though.

    Reply
  48. Funny, I know I wore circle skirts and crinoline petticoats in high school in the ’50s, but I’m at a loss about storing them. I think the crinoline was of starched nylon net, bunched for volume by horizontal rows of ribbon. (I vaguely remember ironing mine, which was a tedious chore.) Between that and the actual skirt, there would have been a softer starched petticoat, also gathered for volume. And probably an unstarched half-slip between the scratchy crinoline and my legs. I had a decent closet and probably only one or two each of those items, so no trauma. But _how_ they were hung is a mystery to me now. Fun to revisit those days, though.

    Reply
  49. Funny, I know I wore circle skirts and crinoline petticoats in high school in the ’50s, but I’m at a loss about storing them. I think the crinoline was of starched nylon net, bunched for volume by horizontal rows of ribbon. (I vaguely remember ironing mine, which was a tedious chore.) Between that and the actual skirt, there would have been a softer starched petticoat, also gathered for volume. And probably an unstarched half-slip between the scratchy crinoline and my legs. I had a decent closet and probably only one or two each of those items, so no trauma. But _how_ they were hung is a mystery to me now. Fun to revisit those days, though.

    Reply
  50. Funny, I know I wore circle skirts and crinoline petticoats in high school in the ’50s, but I’m at a loss about storing them. I think the crinoline was of starched nylon net, bunched for volume by horizontal rows of ribbon. (I vaguely remember ironing mine, which was a tedious chore.) Between that and the actual skirt, there would have been a softer starched petticoat, also gathered for volume. And probably an unstarched half-slip between the scratchy crinoline and my legs. I had a decent closet and probably only one or two each of those items, so no trauma. But _how_ they were hung is a mystery to me now. Fun to revisit those days, though.

    Reply
  51. I grew up in New England and our house was built in the early 1960’s by my grandpa. The closest were actually a decent size. The house we live in now, here in Georgia, the closets are terribly small with no coat closet! We are looking forward to moving into a ranch style house with modern walk in closets!!!

    Reply
  52. I grew up in New England and our house was built in the early 1960’s by my grandpa. The closest were actually a decent size. The house we live in now, here in Georgia, the closets are terribly small with no coat closet! We are looking forward to moving into a ranch style house with modern walk in closets!!!

    Reply
  53. I grew up in New England and our house was built in the early 1960’s by my grandpa. The closest were actually a decent size. The house we live in now, here in Georgia, the closets are terribly small with no coat closet! We are looking forward to moving into a ranch style house with modern walk in closets!!!

    Reply
  54. I grew up in New England and our house was built in the early 1960’s by my grandpa. The closest were actually a decent size. The house we live in now, here in Georgia, the closets are terribly small with no coat closet! We are looking forward to moving into a ranch style house with modern walk in closets!!!

    Reply
  55. I grew up in New England and our house was built in the early 1960’s by my grandpa. The closest were actually a decent size. The house we live in now, here in Georgia, the closets are terribly small with no coat closet! We are looking forward to moving into a ranch style house with modern walk in closets!!!

    Reply
  56. your grandpa was one smart man! I have no idea why architects skimped on closets, except to make rooms look bigger. Maybe they still expected to store everything in dressers and preferred to leave room for those. We live in a 1970s era subdivision. No one has basements here so they use their garages for storage.

    Reply
  57. your grandpa was one smart man! I have no idea why architects skimped on closets, except to make rooms look bigger. Maybe they still expected to store everything in dressers and preferred to leave room for those. We live in a 1970s era subdivision. No one has basements here so they use their garages for storage.

    Reply
  58. your grandpa was one smart man! I have no idea why architects skimped on closets, except to make rooms look bigger. Maybe they still expected to store everything in dressers and preferred to leave room for those. We live in a 1970s era subdivision. No one has basements here so they use their garages for storage.

    Reply
  59. your grandpa was one smart man! I have no idea why architects skimped on closets, except to make rooms look bigger. Maybe they still expected to store everything in dressers and preferred to leave room for those. We live in a 1970s era subdivision. No one has basements here so they use their garages for storage.

    Reply
  60. your grandpa was one smart man! I have no idea why architects skimped on closets, except to make rooms look bigger. Maybe they still expected to store everything in dressers and preferred to leave room for those. We live in a 1970s era subdivision. No one has basements here so they use their garages for storage.

    Reply
  61. the big circle skirts and crinolines were before my time but I have a vague recollection of them from TV shows of the era. I know we had hangers with clips on them for skirts and pants, so maybe they got hung on those?

    Reply
  62. the big circle skirts and crinolines were before my time but I have a vague recollection of them from TV shows of the era. I know we had hangers with clips on them for skirts and pants, so maybe they got hung on those?

    Reply
  63. the big circle skirts and crinolines were before my time but I have a vague recollection of them from TV shows of the era. I know we had hangers with clips on them for skirts and pants, so maybe they got hung on those?

    Reply
  64. the big circle skirts and crinolines were before my time but I have a vague recollection of them from TV shows of the era. I know we had hangers with clips on them for skirts and pants, so maybe they got hung on those?

    Reply
  65. the big circle skirts and crinolines were before my time but I have a vague recollection of them from TV shows of the era. I know we had hangers with clips on them for skirts and pants, so maybe they got hung on those?

    Reply
  66. This is a terrific post, and I thank you. I always thought that those wealthy young women who had dressing rooms had storage for their wonderful clothes in those dressing rooms.
    And I also always thought that having a maid to take care of clothing is a super idea. I happen to be my own maid and always have been. O the life of a peasant.
    Growing up, I lived in lots of houses.
    I have lived in a house with no closets. I have lived in a house with small closets which seemed to be designed to make someone realize what they were missing.
    I have lived in a house built in the fifties and the sliding door closet was for me and my sister. I do not remember how the crinolines were stored.
    I have lived in houses with big walk in closets, and I believe those were the idea of a woman.
    To be honest, I would love to have an armoire as beautiful as the ones in the pictures. But, I have arrived at a place in life where armoires are more interesting to me than my clothing.
    And I always thought a chifferobe was something only in the south. It is nice to know that other people had such a lovely thing.
    I used to go to flea markets and buy antiques because i am one. And all kinds of older storage items were all around.
    You have reminded me of so many terrific things.
    Thanks – I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  67. This is a terrific post, and I thank you. I always thought that those wealthy young women who had dressing rooms had storage for their wonderful clothes in those dressing rooms.
    And I also always thought that having a maid to take care of clothing is a super idea. I happen to be my own maid and always have been. O the life of a peasant.
    Growing up, I lived in lots of houses.
    I have lived in a house with no closets. I have lived in a house with small closets which seemed to be designed to make someone realize what they were missing.
    I have lived in a house built in the fifties and the sliding door closet was for me and my sister. I do not remember how the crinolines were stored.
    I have lived in houses with big walk in closets, and I believe those were the idea of a woman.
    To be honest, I would love to have an armoire as beautiful as the ones in the pictures. But, I have arrived at a place in life where armoires are more interesting to me than my clothing.
    And I always thought a chifferobe was something only in the south. It is nice to know that other people had such a lovely thing.
    I used to go to flea markets and buy antiques because i am one. And all kinds of older storage items were all around.
    You have reminded me of so many terrific things.
    Thanks – I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  68. This is a terrific post, and I thank you. I always thought that those wealthy young women who had dressing rooms had storage for their wonderful clothes in those dressing rooms.
    And I also always thought that having a maid to take care of clothing is a super idea. I happen to be my own maid and always have been. O the life of a peasant.
    Growing up, I lived in lots of houses.
    I have lived in a house with no closets. I have lived in a house with small closets which seemed to be designed to make someone realize what they were missing.
    I have lived in a house built in the fifties and the sliding door closet was for me and my sister. I do not remember how the crinolines were stored.
    I have lived in houses with big walk in closets, and I believe those were the idea of a woman.
    To be honest, I would love to have an armoire as beautiful as the ones in the pictures. But, I have arrived at a place in life where armoires are more interesting to me than my clothing.
    And I always thought a chifferobe was something only in the south. It is nice to know that other people had such a lovely thing.
    I used to go to flea markets and buy antiques because i am one. And all kinds of older storage items were all around.
    You have reminded me of so many terrific things.
    Thanks – I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  69. This is a terrific post, and I thank you. I always thought that those wealthy young women who had dressing rooms had storage for their wonderful clothes in those dressing rooms.
    And I also always thought that having a maid to take care of clothing is a super idea. I happen to be my own maid and always have been. O the life of a peasant.
    Growing up, I lived in lots of houses.
    I have lived in a house with no closets. I have lived in a house with small closets which seemed to be designed to make someone realize what they were missing.
    I have lived in a house built in the fifties and the sliding door closet was for me and my sister. I do not remember how the crinolines were stored.
    I have lived in houses with big walk in closets, and I believe those were the idea of a woman.
    To be honest, I would love to have an armoire as beautiful as the ones in the pictures. But, I have arrived at a place in life where armoires are more interesting to me than my clothing.
    And I always thought a chifferobe was something only in the south. It is nice to know that other people had such a lovely thing.
    I used to go to flea markets and buy antiques because i am one. And all kinds of older storage items were all around.
    You have reminded me of so many terrific things.
    Thanks – I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  70. This is a terrific post, and I thank you. I always thought that those wealthy young women who had dressing rooms had storage for their wonderful clothes in those dressing rooms.
    And I also always thought that having a maid to take care of clothing is a super idea. I happen to be my own maid and always have been. O the life of a peasant.
    Growing up, I lived in lots of houses.
    I have lived in a house with no closets. I have lived in a house with small closets which seemed to be designed to make someone realize what they were missing.
    I have lived in a house built in the fifties and the sliding door closet was for me and my sister. I do not remember how the crinolines were stored.
    I have lived in houses with big walk in closets, and I believe those were the idea of a woman.
    To be honest, I would love to have an armoire as beautiful as the ones in the pictures. But, I have arrived at a place in life where armoires are more interesting to me than my clothing.
    And I always thought a chifferobe was something only in the south. It is nice to know that other people had such a lovely thing.
    I used to go to flea markets and buy antiques because i am one. And all kinds of older storage items were all around.
    You have reminded me of so many terrific things.
    Thanks – I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  71. I used to love going to estate sales and flea markets! Unfortunately, we have no more room in this overstuffed cottage these days! We need to find someone who remembers how those 1950s crinolines were stored!

    Reply
  72. I used to love going to estate sales and flea markets! Unfortunately, we have no more room in this overstuffed cottage these days! We need to find someone who remembers how those 1950s crinolines were stored!

    Reply
  73. I used to love going to estate sales and flea markets! Unfortunately, we have no more room in this overstuffed cottage these days! We need to find someone who remembers how those 1950s crinolines were stored!

    Reply
  74. I used to love going to estate sales and flea markets! Unfortunately, we have no more room in this overstuffed cottage these days! We need to find someone who remembers how those 1950s crinolines were stored!

    Reply
  75. I used to love going to estate sales and flea markets! Unfortunately, we have no more room in this overstuffed cottage these days! We need to find someone who remembers how those 1950s crinolines were stored!

    Reply
  76. I’ve always had closets, but often they weren’t spacious. — Except for our home in New Jersey while we worked in Manhattan. That row house had never seen a closet. I kmow we did hang up our clothes, but I don’t remember how.

    Reply
  77. I’ve always had closets, but often they weren’t spacious. — Except for our home in New Jersey while we worked in Manhattan. That row house had never seen a closet. I kmow we did hang up our clothes, but I don’t remember how.

    Reply
  78. I’ve always had closets, but often they weren’t spacious. — Except for our home in New Jersey while we worked in Manhattan. That row house had never seen a closet. I kmow we did hang up our clothes, but I don’t remember how.

    Reply
  79. I’ve always had closets, but often they weren’t spacious. — Except for our home in New Jersey while we worked in Manhattan. That row house had never seen a closet. I kmow we did hang up our clothes, but I don’t remember how.

    Reply
  80. I’ve always had closets, but often they weren’t spacious. — Except for our home in New Jersey while we worked in Manhattan. That row house had never seen a closet. I kmow we did hang up our clothes, but I don’t remember how.

    Reply
  81. I wore crinolines and circle skirts as a high school student in the 50’s, Pat. I had two crinolines –plus an unsuccessful wire frame that I wore once. When my father laughed at the skirt fabric falling through the framework, I was so distressed that I never tried it on again! That could have happened at school!
    The organdy crinoline was gathered and the ruffles were in tiers. Great support for the skirt, but uncomfortable. This one was clipped to a skirt hanger and pushed into its place in the closet (one hanger-width deep and about four feet long).
    All I remember is the noise a crinoline made as I moved around, the scratchiness, the danger to nylons, and the serious problem of trying to fit my skinny size 6 self and the crinoline and the skirt into a fixed-arm wooden student desk. It was crowded in there!
    Then fashion changed, and we all wanted wool tartan plaids and pencil skirts — tight and straight!
    Great topic — I’ve enjoyed re-living it!

    Reply
  82. I wore crinolines and circle skirts as a high school student in the 50’s, Pat. I had two crinolines –plus an unsuccessful wire frame that I wore once. When my father laughed at the skirt fabric falling through the framework, I was so distressed that I never tried it on again! That could have happened at school!
    The organdy crinoline was gathered and the ruffles were in tiers. Great support for the skirt, but uncomfortable. This one was clipped to a skirt hanger and pushed into its place in the closet (one hanger-width deep and about four feet long).
    All I remember is the noise a crinoline made as I moved around, the scratchiness, the danger to nylons, and the serious problem of trying to fit my skinny size 6 self and the crinoline and the skirt into a fixed-arm wooden student desk. It was crowded in there!
    Then fashion changed, and we all wanted wool tartan plaids and pencil skirts — tight and straight!
    Great topic — I’ve enjoyed re-living it!

    Reply
  83. I wore crinolines and circle skirts as a high school student in the 50’s, Pat. I had two crinolines –plus an unsuccessful wire frame that I wore once. When my father laughed at the skirt fabric falling through the framework, I was so distressed that I never tried it on again! That could have happened at school!
    The organdy crinoline was gathered and the ruffles were in tiers. Great support for the skirt, but uncomfortable. This one was clipped to a skirt hanger and pushed into its place in the closet (one hanger-width deep and about four feet long).
    All I remember is the noise a crinoline made as I moved around, the scratchiness, the danger to nylons, and the serious problem of trying to fit my skinny size 6 self and the crinoline and the skirt into a fixed-arm wooden student desk. It was crowded in there!
    Then fashion changed, and we all wanted wool tartan plaids and pencil skirts — tight and straight!
    Great topic — I’ve enjoyed re-living it!

    Reply
  84. I wore crinolines and circle skirts as a high school student in the 50’s, Pat. I had two crinolines –plus an unsuccessful wire frame that I wore once. When my father laughed at the skirt fabric falling through the framework, I was so distressed that I never tried it on again! That could have happened at school!
    The organdy crinoline was gathered and the ruffles were in tiers. Great support for the skirt, but uncomfortable. This one was clipped to a skirt hanger and pushed into its place in the closet (one hanger-width deep and about four feet long).
    All I remember is the noise a crinoline made as I moved around, the scratchiness, the danger to nylons, and the serious problem of trying to fit my skinny size 6 self and the crinoline and the skirt into a fixed-arm wooden student desk. It was crowded in there!
    Then fashion changed, and we all wanted wool tartan plaids and pencil skirts — tight and straight!
    Great topic — I’ve enjoyed re-living it!

    Reply
  85. I wore crinolines and circle skirts as a high school student in the 50’s, Pat. I had two crinolines –plus an unsuccessful wire frame that I wore once. When my father laughed at the skirt fabric falling through the framework, I was so distressed that I never tried it on again! That could have happened at school!
    The organdy crinoline was gathered and the ruffles were in tiers. Great support for the skirt, but uncomfortable. This one was clipped to a skirt hanger and pushed into its place in the closet (one hanger-width deep and about four feet long).
    All I remember is the noise a crinoline made as I moved around, the scratchiness, the danger to nylons, and the serious problem of trying to fit my skinny size 6 self and the crinoline and the skirt into a fixed-arm wooden student desk. It was crowded in there!
    Then fashion changed, and we all wanted wool tartan plaids and pencil skirts — tight and straight!
    Great topic — I’ve enjoyed re-living it!

    Reply

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