Undressing Your Heroine

Susan/Miranda, here once
again and delighted to introduce Guest Wench Kalen Hughes for Part Two
of her blog on Regency Era (and any other time period that may strike
her fancy) fashion.
Kalen is not only a specialist in historical dress,
a frequent speaker at conferences, and an accomplished historical
seamstress, but also the author of several acclaimed historical
romances. (Please check out her website at www.kalenhughes.com.)

Last week Kalen dressed and undressed a typical gentleman of the time.
In case you missed this wonderful blog and the fascinating discussion
that followed, here’s the link: http://wordwenches.typepad.com/word_wenches/2007/09/undressing-your.html#comments
The links to the illustrations and photographs alone are worth bookmarking!

Now she’s back to do the same for a lady. Questions are most welcome,
too, though for the sake of Kalen’s sanity, please try to keep ’em
focussed. 

Kalen, the wardrobe’s yours….

 I’m back this week to talk about women’s clothing. There are lots of layers to those reportedly scantily 1812 clad Regency heroines, and today we’re going to look at them all. *grin* To the left we have a fashion plate from 1812 (courtesy of Candice Hern’s wonderful collection).

Let’s start from the skin out. The very first thing our heroine puts on is her chemise 1802_shirt_1810_shift(which she might still call her shift). It’s going to be white. It’s going to be made of linen, and it’s going to be an extremely simple garment, perhaps with a drawstring at the neckline. It will most likely have short sleeves (though it might be sleeveless) and it will probably reach to about mid-calf (you don’t want it to show below her skirts!). In the picture to the right the shift on the left is c. 1810. This is the base layer as it’s easy to wash (unlike the stays!).

Next she is laced into her stays, which she may call her “corset”. The term is in flux at tDivorce_corset_1800his time, “stays” being on its way out. They are usually made of lightly boned cotton or linen, most are white, and the most common style has a busk down the front (picture a ruler running from just below the belly button to the middle of the bust).

The picture here is an extant example c. 1810-1820 that belongs to the Kyoto Costume Institute. Note how different this is from the flattened breast of the 18th century; for most of the Regency the desired look was up thrust and separated, rather like a push-up bra, or a “cross your heart”. Am I the only one who remembers those ads?

The next thing our heroine puts on is her petticoat. Unlike the “petticoats” of herPetticoat_early_19th  mother’s generation, this is an actual item of underwear (in the 18th century all of a women’s skirts were her “petticoats”). Throughout the era only a single petticoat was called for, and since the waistline was so high, most were made like jumpers or pinafores. It might tie in the back, or it might button.

Garters_and_stockings_1820s Our lady’s stockings are most likely of cotton or silk. They are machine knit in the round (no back seam), and are probably a pale colour (most likely white), without the elaborate clocks at the ankle that were common in the 18th century. They are held in place by garters, which most likely have several rows of metal springs in them and close with a big metal hook and eye.

If she’s not off to a ball or the opera she may add a chemisette at this point. Chemisette_1800_1825Basically  it’s a white lawn dickey with a high collar that buttoned or tied up the back and had a drawstring at the bottom and tied just below the bust.

Now she has all her underwear on. *phew* Wait, wait!!! I hear you say. Where are her drawers? Well . . . the “fast” lady of the era wasn’t the one going “commando”, she was the one wearing drawers! They did exist, but our lady certainly isn’t wearing them.

Net_dress_1811 The next layer is the gown itself. There are different styles of gowns, but essentially they are all “round gowns” of one kind or another (meaning that the one garment goes all the way around the lady, without requiring a petticoat/skirt to complete it). Our lady is donning a simply silk underdress with a red net overdress (this type net is machine made, and still available to this day from France; It’s used for very high-end wedding veils). Close_up_of_net_dress_2

Close up of the same red net dress over a white underdress. And yes, the two layers are made seperately so that they can be swapped out in this way.

Her shoes are likely to be simple pumps (rather like modern “ballet flats”). This is the most common shoe of our era. Some rather plain examples exist, but examples with fancy pleated frills, decorative appliqués, paint, rosettes on the toes, etc. are all relatively easy to find. I’ve even seen them with spangles (sequins). Some have a ribbon (again, much like a modern ballet slipper) that starts about mid-foot (in the middle of the arch) then wraps around the ankle and ties. Some have Shoe_collage a drawstring like a modern ballet slipper. They were made of everything under the Printed_gloves_1800_1810 sun: kid (fine leather, like the gloves), silk, canvas, leather, jean (a heavy twilled cotton), etc.

Were our heroine to leave the house a whole slew of other clothing would be necessary, a spencer, pelisse or cloak, gloves, and a hat or bonnet. To the right we have a few pairs of lovely printed kid skin gloves from about 1810 (I’d pretty much kill to own a pair!). These are the kind that would have been worn with a long-sleeved dress or with a coat.

A LITTLE MORE ON STAYS/CORSETS

Because Mary Jo asked . . . Short_stays_1795_1810Regency corsets came in many forms. There were short stays, which seem to have been most prevalent in the 1790s-1810 (see example to the left) and again in the early 1820s (see fashion plate to the right). There was also a longer corset (see the example in the section above), which Costume_parisien_1822 came down over the hip, and was used to smooth the entire line, which appear to be the most common style worn throughout the era (and beyond). These stays were frequently constructed with little to no boning (they’re sort of like a fabric girdle), but most of the reenactors I know have found that if you’re bigger than a size 2, or have more than a B-Cup, you need at least light boning (or the whole thing wrinkles up and bunches around your waist). There were E19cbra also rather flimsy, wrap around things, that are very close to a modern brassier once on (great example in the Kyoto Costume Institute, c. 1800). Almost all styles during this period had shoulder straps and laced up the back, and nearly all the examples I’ve seen are spiral laced (meaning that they lace up like they’re sewn shut, not in a cross-pattern like a tennis shoe; see the Regencybackexample to the right). If they were boned, it would have been with whalebone or reed. The longer ones would also usually have had a busk, which makes it impossible to bend at the waist. Another thing that’s important to note is that the shoulder straps make it nearly impossible to have a full range of arm motion (no climbing trees or getting books down off high shelves). For good examples of the period’s underwear see the A&E production of Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version) and Wives and Daughters. 

215 thoughts on “Undressing Your Heroine”

  1. Thank you for the lesson, Kalen. Whew! One more reason to be glad I’m living in the here and now. I do have a couple of questions. What is the spencer and the pelisse? I’ve assumed they are some sort of overcoats but not sure how they are different.
    Also, how did women dress when they were pregnant? For some, that was pretty much their entire child-bearing years.
    No wonder women died young. Having to wear all that stuff. Imagine how miserable they were during hot weather. I remember my grandmother, born in the 1870’s, talking about how hot she would get under Southern summer skies.

    Reply
  2. Thank you for the lesson, Kalen. Whew! One more reason to be glad I’m living in the here and now. I do have a couple of questions. What is the spencer and the pelisse? I’ve assumed they are some sort of overcoats but not sure how they are different.
    Also, how did women dress when they were pregnant? For some, that was pretty much their entire child-bearing years.
    No wonder women died young. Having to wear all that stuff. Imagine how miserable they were during hot weather. I remember my grandmother, born in the 1870’s, talking about how hot she would get under Southern summer skies.

    Reply
  3. Thank you for the lesson, Kalen. Whew! One more reason to be glad I’m living in the here and now. I do have a couple of questions. What is the spencer and the pelisse? I’ve assumed they are some sort of overcoats but not sure how they are different.
    Also, how did women dress when they were pregnant? For some, that was pretty much their entire child-bearing years.
    No wonder women died young. Having to wear all that stuff. Imagine how miserable they were during hot weather. I remember my grandmother, born in the 1870’s, talking about how hot she would get under Southern summer skies.

    Reply
  4. Thank you for the lesson, Kalen. Whew! One more reason to be glad I’m living in the here and now. I do have a couple of questions. What is the spencer and the pelisse? I’ve assumed they are some sort of overcoats but not sure how they are different.
    Also, how did women dress when they were pregnant? For some, that was pretty much their entire child-bearing years.
    No wonder women died young. Having to wear all that stuff. Imagine how miserable they were during hot weather. I remember my grandmother, born in the 1870’s, talking about how hot she would get under Southern summer skies.

    Reply
  5. Thank you for the lesson, Kalen. Whew! One more reason to be glad I’m living in the here and now. I do have a couple of questions. What is the spencer and the pelisse? I’ve assumed they are some sort of overcoats but not sure how they are different.
    Also, how did women dress when they were pregnant? For some, that was pretty much their entire child-bearing years.
    No wonder women died young. Having to wear all that stuff. Imagine how miserable they were during hot weather. I remember my grandmother, born in the 1870’s, talking about how hot she would get under Southern summer skies.

    Reply
  6. Thanks Kalen! Love clothing discussions/talks. Now, for my questions (plural): I am old enough to remember the “time of the month belts” and since hardly any romance novel heroine has those monthly visits, unless they are pregnant…what did they use? Looking at the shoulders straps would make it impossible to have a spagetti type dress like the one in Pride and Prejudice (the movie) wouldn’t it? Although, I think there is a photo on the web of one such dress from Russia. Have you ever seen any? I am assuming that you must have some antique clothing? This is fun.

    Reply
  7. Thanks Kalen! Love clothing discussions/talks. Now, for my questions (plural): I am old enough to remember the “time of the month belts” and since hardly any romance novel heroine has those monthly visits, unless they are pregnant…what did they use? Looking at the shoulders straps would make it impossible to have a spagetti type dress like the one in Pride and Prejudice (the movie) wouldn’t it? Although, I think there is a photo on the web of one such dress from Russia. Have you ever seen any? I am assuming that you must have some antique clothing? This is fun.

    Reply
  8. Thanks Kalen! Love clothing discussions/talks. Now, for my questions (plural): I am old enough to remember the “time of the month belts” and since hardly any romance novel heroine has those monthly visits, unless they are pregnant…what did they use? Looking at the shoulders straps would make it impossible to have a spagetti type dress like the one in Pride and Prejudice (the movie) wouldn’t it? Although, I think there is a photo on the web of one such dress from Russia. Have you ever seen any? I am assuming that you must have some antique clothing? This is fun.

    Reply
  9. Thanks Kalen! Love clothing discussions/talks. Now, for my questions (plural): I am old enough to remember the “time of the month belts” and since hardly any romance novel heroine has those monthly visits, unless they are pregnant…what did they use? Looking at the shoulders straps would make it impossible to have a spagetti type dress like the one in Pride and Prejudice (the movie) wouldn’t it? Although, I think there is a photo on the web of one such dress from Russia. Have you ever seen any? I am assuming that you must have some antique clothing? This is fun.

    Reply
  10. Thanks Kalen! Love clothing discussions/talks. Now, for my questions (plural): I am old enough to remember the “time of the month belts” and since hardly any romance novel heroine has those monthly visits, unless they are pregnant…what did they use? Looking at the shoulders straps would make it impossible to have a spagetti type dress like the one in Pride and Prejudice (the movie) wouldn’t it? Although, I think there is a photo on the web of one such dress from Russia. Have you ever seen any? I am assuming that you must have some antique clothing? This is fun.

    Reply
  11. ***Margaret: What is the spencer and the pelisse? I’ve assumed they are some sort of overcoats but not sure how they are different.***
    A spencer is a short jacket (think bolero) and a pelisse is an overcoat (pretty much interchangeable in this period with a redingote). Here is a short version of my lesson on these garments:
    SPENCERS
    Spencers are simply short coats that come only to the waist (wherever that fashionable waist might be). Almost always front closing (I’ve seen ONE example of a back-closing one), they seem to have used every method of closure available (or none at all): Buttons, ties, hook and eyes, some were even worn open like a bolero.
    Extant spencer with matching dress, c. 1800-1810 (this one wraps, has a drawstring, and hook and eyes!). Note it’s worn over a matching dress.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1800-181-spencer.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1800-dress-back.jpg
    Extant example in silk, c. 1815, closes up the front with brass hook and eyes
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-1815.jpg
    Front buttoning example from A&E’s Pride and Prejudice
    http://www.songsmyth.com/moviestills/2lizziendarcy.jpg
    Extant spencer, c. 1810-1820 (made from 18th century quilted petticoat). Note the underbodice that ties shut, and is then buttoned over. Why? Who knows.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1810-1820-spencer.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1810-1820-spencer-back.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-inside.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-buttons.jpg
    Angouleme spencer from a fashion plate, c. 1815
    http://www.candicehern.com/images/collections/02/dec/hern2.1.9_fig12_lba0515.jpg
    White Swiss-dot spencer, c. 1815 (reminds me of the one Gwyneth Paltrow wears in Emma).
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/dotted-swiss-spencer.jpg
    PELISSES
    These are basically coats (though in the 1820s they look very much like gowns). Early on they were frequently ¾-length, but by the late teens they had become floor-length. While many of them look insubstantial, they are frequently lined in wool, and would have been quite warm.
    Extant pelisse, c. 1810-1820. Closes with a single large hook and eye at the wasit.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/peliesse-1810-1820.jpg
    Janet Arnold’s sketch of an extant 1818 Pelisse.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1818-pelisse.jpg
    Detail showing the hidden buttons and button tabs with closed the pelisse up the front.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/pelisse-buttons.jpg
    Extant pelisse, c. 1820 (functional frogs across the bodice).
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/pelisse-1820.jpg
    White cotton pelisse, c. 1825. Buttons up only at the bodice front.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/cottom-pelisse-1825.jpg

    Reply
  12. ***Margaret: What is the spencer and the pelisse? I’ve assumed they are some sort of overcoats but not sure how they are different.***
    A spencer is a short jacket (think bolero) and a pelisse is an overcoat (pretty much interchangeable in this period with a redingote). Here is a short version of my lesson on these garments:
    SPENCERS
    Spencers are simply short coats that come only to the waist (wherever that fashionable waist might be). Almost always front closing (I’ve seen ONE example of a back-closing one), they seem to have used every method of closure available (or none at all): Buttons, ties, hook and eyes, some were even worn open like a bolero.
    Extant spencer with matching dress, c. 1800-1810 (this one wraps, has a drawstring, and hook and eyes!). Note it’s worn over a matching dress.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1800-181-spencer.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1800-dress-back.jpg
    Extant example in silk, c. 1815, closes up the front with brass hook and eyes
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-1815.jpg
    Front buttoning example from A&E’s Pride and Prejudice
    http://www.songsmyth.com/moviestills/2lizziendarcy.jpg
    Extant spencer, c. 1810-1820 (made from 18th century quilted petticoat). Note the underbodice that ties shut, and is then buttoned over. Why? Who knows.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1810-1820-spencer.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1810-1820-spencer-back.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-inside.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-buttons.jpg
    Angouleme spencer from a fashion plate, c. 1815
    http://www.candicehern.com/images/collections/02/dec/hern2.1.9_fig12_lba0515.jpg
    White Swiss-dot spencer, c. 1815 (reminds me of the one Gwyneth Paltrow wears in Emma).
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/dotted-swiss-spencer.jpg
    PELISSES
    These are basically coats (though in the 1820s they look very much like gowns). Early on they were frequently ¾-length, but by the late teens they had become floor-length. While many of them look insubstantial, they are frequently lined in wool, and would have been quite warm.
    Extant pelisse, c. 1810-1820. Closes with a single large hook and eye at the wasit.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/peliesse-1810-1820.jpg
    Janet Arnold’s sketch of an extant 1818 Pelisse.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1818-pelisse.jpg
    Detail showing the hidden buttons and button tabs with closed the pelisse up the front.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/pelisse-buttons.jpg
    Extant pelisse, c. 1820 (functional frogs across the bodice).
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/pelisse-1820.jpg
    White cotton pelisse, c. 1825. Buttons up only at the bodice front.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/cottom-pelisse-1825.jpg

    Reply
  13. ***Margaret: What is the spencer and the pelisse? I’ve assumed they are some sort of overcoats but not sure how they are different.***
    A spencer is a short jacket (think bolero) and a pelisse is an overcoat (pretty much interchangeable in this period with a redingote). Here is a short version of my lesson on these garments:
    SPENCERS
    Spencers are simply short coats that come only to the waist (wherever that fashionable waist might be). Almost always front closing (I’ve seen ONE example of a back-closing one), they seem to have used every method of closure available (or none at all): Buttons, ties, hook and eyes, some were even worn open like a bolero.
    Extant spencer with matching dress, c. 1800-1810 (this one wraps, has a drawstring, and hook and eyes!). Note it’s worn over a matching dress.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1800-181-spencer.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1800-dress-back.jpg
    Extant example in silk, c. 1815, closes up the front with brass hook and eyes
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-1815.jpg
    Front buttoning example from A&E’s Pride and Prejudice
    http://www.songsmyth.com/moviestills/2lizziendarcy.jpg
    Extant spencer, c. 1810-1820 (made from 18th century quilted petticoat). Note the underbodice that ties shut, and is then buttoned over. Why? Who knows.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1810-1820-spencer.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1810-1820-spencer-back.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-inside.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-buttons.jpg
    Angouleme spencer from a fashion plate, c. 1815
    http://www.candicehern.com/images/collections/02/dec/hern2.1.9_fig12_lba0515.jpg
    White Swiss-dot spencer, c. 1815 (reminds me of the one Gwyneth Paltrow wears in Emma).
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/dotted-swiss-spencer.jpg
    PELISSES
    These are basically coats (though in the 1820s they look very much like gowns). Early on they were frequently ¾-length, but by the late teens they had become floor-length. While many of them look insubstantial, they are frequently lined in wool, and would have been quite warm.
    Extant pelisse, c. 1810-1820. Closes with a single large hook and eye at the wasit.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/peliesse-1810-1820.jpg
    Janet Arnold’s sketch of an extant 1818 Pelisse.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1818-pelisse.jpg
    Detail showing the hidden buttons and button tabs with closed the pelisse up the front.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/pelisse-buttons.jpg
    Extant pelisse, c. 1820 (functional frogs across the bodice).
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/pelisse-1820.jpg
    White cotton pelisse, c. 1825. Buttons up only at the bodice front.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/cottom-pelisse-1825.jpg

    Reply
  14. ***Margaret: What is the spencer and the pelisse? I’ve assumed they are some sort of overcoats but not sure how they are different.***
    A spencer is a short jacket (think bolero) and a pelisse is an overcoat (pretty much interchangeable in this period with a redingote). Here is a short version of my lesson on these garments:
    SPENCERS
    Spencers are simply short coats that come only to the waist (wherever that fashionable waist might be). Almost always front closing (I’ve seen ONE example of a back-closing one), they seem to have used every method of closure available (or none at all): Buttons, ties, hook and eyes, some were even worn open like a bolero.
    Extant spencer with matching dress, c. 1800-1810 (this one wraps, has a drawstring, and hook and eyes!). Note it’s worn over a matching dress.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1800-181-spencer.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1800-dress-back.jpg
    Extant example in silk, c. 1815, closes up the front with brass hook and eyes
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-1815.jpg
    Front buttoning example from A&E’s Pride and Prejudice
    http://www.songsmyth.com/moviestills/2lizziendarcy.jpg
    Extant spencer, c. 1810-1820 (made from 18th century quilted petticoat). Note the underbodice that ties shut, and is then buttoned over. Why? Who knows.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1810-1820-spencer.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1810-1820-spencer-back.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-inside.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-buttons.jpg
    Angouleme spencer from a fashion plate, c. 1815
    http://www.candicehern.com/images/collections/02/dec/hern2.1.9_fig12_lba0515.jpg
    White Swiss-dot spencer, c. 1815 (reminds me of the one Gwyneth Paltrow wears in Emma).
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/dotted-swiss-spencer.jpg
    PELISSES
    These are basically coats (though in the 1820s they look very much like gowns). Early on they were frequently ¾-length, but by the late teens they had become floor-length. While many of them look insubstantial, they are frequently lined in wool, and would have been quite warm.
    Extant pelisse, c. 1810-1820. Closes with a single large hook and eye at the wasit.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/peliesse-1810-1820.jpg
    Janet Arnold’s sketch of an extant 1818 Pelisse.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1818-pelisse.jpg
    Detail showing the hidden buttons and button tabs with closed the pelisse up the front.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/pelisse-buttons.jpg
    Extant pelisse, c. 1820 (functional frogs across the bodice).
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/pelisse-1820.jpg
    White cotton pelisse, c. 1825. Buttons up only at the bodice front.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/cottom-pelisse-1825.jpg

    Reply
  15. ***Margaret: What is the spencer and the pelisse? I’ve assumed they are some sort of overcoats but not sure how they are different.***
    A spencer is a short jacket (think bolero) and a pelisse is an overcoat (pretty much interchangeable in this period with a redingote). Here is a short version of my lesson on these garments:
    SPENCERS
    Spencers are simply short coats that come only to the waist (wherever that fashionable waist might be). Almost always front closing (I’ve seen ONE example of a back-closing one), they seem to have used every method of closure available (or none at all): Buttons, ties, hook and eyes, some were even worn open like a bolero.
    Extant spencer with matching dress, c. 1800-1810 (this one wraps, has a drawstring, and hook and eyes!). Note it’s worn over a matching dress.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1800-181-spencer.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1800-dress-back.jpg
    Extant example in silk, c. 1815, closes up the front with brass hook and eyes
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-1815.jpg
    Front buttoning example from A&E’s Pride and Prejudice
    http://www.songsmyth.com/moviestills/2lizziendarcy.jpg
    Extant spencer, c. 1810-1820 (made from 18th century quilted petticoat). Note the underbodice that ties shut, and is then buttoned over. Why? Who knows.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1810-1820-spencer.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1810-1820-spencer-back.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-inside.jpg
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/spencer-buttons.jpg
    Angouleme spencer from a fashion plate, c. 1815
    http://www.candicehern.com/images/collections/02/dec/hern2.1.9_fig12_lba0515.jpg
    White Swiss-dot spencer, c. 1815 (reminds me of the one Gwyneth Paltrow wears in Emma).
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/dotted-swiss-spencer.jpg
    PELISSES
    These are basically coats (though in the 1820s they look very much like gowns). Early on they were frequently ¾-length, but by the late teens they had become floor-length. While many of them look insubstantial, they are frequently lined in wool, and would have been quite warm.
    Extant pelisse, c. 1810-1820. Closes with a single large hook and eye at the wasit.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/peliesse-1810-1820.jpg
    Janet Arnold’s sketch of an extant 1818 Pelisse.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/1818-pelisse.jpg
    Detail showing the hidden buttons and button tabs with closed the pelisse up the front.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/pelisse-buttons.jpg
    Extant pelisse, c. 1820 (functional frogs across the bodice).
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/pelisse-1820.jpg
    White cotton pelisse, c. 1825. Buttons up only at the bodice front.
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/cottom-pelisse-1825.jpg

    Reply
  16. ***Margaret: Also, how did women dress when they were pregnant? For some, that was pretty much their entire child-bearing years.
    No wonder women died young. Having to wear all that stuff. Imagine how miserable they were during hot weather. I remember my grandmother, born in the 1870’s, talking about how hot she would get under Southern summer skies.***
    Here’s my lesson on maternity clothes (essentially there were none). And women did NOT die young due to their clothing. Complications from pregnancy, yes, but NOT from their clothes. And you have to remember that this era comes at the end of the little ice age, so it was much cooler in England (the loons wearing the same stuff in India and the West Indies are a whole nother story).
    Maternity Clothes
    For most of the Georgian era pregnancy itself doesn’t seem to be something that was celebrated or treated as something to be memorialized. The safe delivery of a child certainly was, and it is that, not the pregnancy, that tends to show up in letters and diaries. In contrast to the myth of pregnant women being “confined” alone and unseen, most reports show that they were out in public attending (and even hosting) events right up until the end.
    There are few examples of clothes that were devoted specifically to maternity. There are several possibilities as to why this might be (and the truth is probably some combination of them all). Firstly, most images show that women simply wore their normal clothes, with editions such as aprons, shawls, and special waistcoats to cover the growing belly. The fact that their skirts rode up in the front, or that things didn’t close fully doesn’t seem to have been of much concern. Secondly, if they did make special clothes, they probably altered them after, or passed them on to be worn by friends and family until they were worn out. Thirdly, they simply weren’t considered important enough to save.
    There is a surviving etching of maternity stays (c. 1771). If you look closely you’ll see that there is an extra lace up the side labeled “A”.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/etching_pregnancystays_deidrot.jpg
    The Man of Business, 1774. The obviously pregnant women in this print are wearing a combination of shawls and aprons to alter their everyday clothes into maternity wear.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/themanofbusiness1774.jpg
    Quilted maternity Gown c. 1780-1795. The simple edition of a waistcoat under the gown transforms this compère front gown into an easily expandable maternity gown.
    Front-side view
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygown17801795.jpg
    Back view of waistcoat
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailback.jpg
    Close-up front view showing how the compère front is laced over the waistcoat
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailfront.jpg
    Front view of the dress in its everyday mode
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailclosed.jpg
    Diligence & Dissipation, c. 1796 (Gaugain and Hellyer after Northcote). The unwed pregnant woman is shown descending the stairs, her belly covered by an apron. The apron was so common a symbol of pregnancy that little girls playing dress-up would wear one when pretending to be pregnant.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/DiligenceDissipation1796.jpg
    Nursing gown, c. 1825-1830
    Gowns of earlier styles could simply be loosened and/or pulled down to nurse, but the gowns of the 20s and 30s had a much higher neckline, and closed in the back. The solutions was to design nursing gowns with a false front flap that opened at the waist to revel an under bodice with slits for the breasts (and no, I don’t know what kind of nursing corset they wore).
    Full gown
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Nursinggown18251830.jpg
    Detail, showing the front flap
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Nursinggowndeatil18251830.jpg
    For more information on pregnancy and early motherhood see “What Clothes Revel” by Linda Baumgarten. It has a whole section on this topic, complete with many excerpts from period diaries and letters.

    Reply
  17. ***Margaret: Also, how did women dress when they were pregnant? For some, that was pretty much their entire child-bearing years.
    No wonder women died young. Having to wear all that stuff. Imagine how miserable they were during hot weather. I remember my grandmother, born in the 1870’s, talking about how hot she would get under Southern summer skies.***
    Here’s my lesson on maternity clothes (essentially there were none). And women did NOT die young due to their clothing. Complications from pregnancy, yes, but NOT from their clothes. And you have to remember that this era comes at the end of the little ice age, so it was much cooler in England (the loons wearing the same stuff in India and the West Indies are a whole nother story).
    Maternity Clothes
    For most of the Georgian era pregnancy itself doesn’t seem to be something that was celebrated or treated as something to be memorialized. The safe delivery of a child certainly was, and it is that, not the pregnancy, that tends to show up in letters and diaries. In contrast to the myth of pregnant women being “confined” alone and unseen, most reports show that they were out in public attending (and even hosting) events right up until the end.
    There are few examples of clothes that were devoted specifically to maternity. There are several possibilities as to why this might be (and the truth is probably some combination of them all). Firstly, most images show that women simply wore their normal clothes, with editions such as aprons, shawls, and special waistcoats to cover the growing belly. The fact that their skirts rode up in the front, or that things didn’t close fully doesn’t seem to have been of much concern. Secondly, if they did make special clothes, they probably altered them after, or passed them on to be worn by friends and family until they were worn out. Thirdly, they simply weren’t considered important enough to save.
    There is a surviving etching of maternity stays (c. 1771). If you look closely you’ll see that there is an extra lace up the side labeled “A”.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/etching_pregnancystays_deidrot.jpg
    The Man of Business, 1774. The obviously pregnant women in this print are wearing a combination of shawls and aprons to alter their everyday clothes into maternity wear.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/themanofbusiness1774.jpg
    Quilted maternity Gown c. 1780-1795. The simple edition of a waistcoat under the gown transforms this compère front gown into an easily expandable maternity gown.
    Front-side view
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygown17801795.jpg
    Back view of waistcoat
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailback.jpg
    Close-up front view showing how the compère front is laced over the waistcoat
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailfront.jpg
    Front view of the dress in its everyday mode
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailclosed.jpg
    Diligence & Dissipation, c. 1796 (Gaugain and Hellyer after Northcote). The unwed pregnant woman is shown descending the stairs, her belly covered by an apron. The apron was so common a symbol of pregnancy that little girls playing dress-up would wear one when pretending to be pregnant.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/DiligenceDissipation1796.jpg
    Nursing gown, c. 1825-1830
    Gowns of earlier styles could simply be loosened and/or pulled down to nurse, but the gowns of the 20s and 30s had a much higher neckline, and closed in the back. The solutions was to design nursing gowns with a false front flap that opened at the waist to revel an under bodice with slits for the breasts (and no, I don’t know what kind of nursing corset they wore).
    Full gown
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Nursinggown18251830.jpg
    Detail, showing the front flap
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Nursinggowndeatil18251830.jpg
    For more information on pregnancy and early motherhood see “What Clothes Revel” by Linda Baumgarten. It has a whole section on this topic, complete with many excerpts from period diaries and letters.

    Reply
  18. ***Margaret: Also, how did women dress when they were pregnant? For some, that was pretty much their entire child-bearing years.
    No wonder women died young. Having to wear all that stuff. Imagine how miserable they were during hot weather. I remember my grandmother, born in the 1870’s, talking about how hot she would get under Southern summer skies.***
    Here’s my lesson on maternity clothes (essentially there were none). And women did NOT die young due to their clothing. Complications from pregnancy, yes, but NOT from their clothes. And you have to remember that this era comes at the end of the little ice age, so it was much cooler in England (the loons wearing the same stuff in India and the West Indies are a whole nother story).
    Maternity Clothes
    For most of the Georgian era pregnancy itself doesn’t seem to be something that was celebrated or treated as something to be memorialized. The safe delivery of a child certainly was, and it is that, not the pregnancy, that tends to show up in letters and diaries. In contrast to the myth of pregnant women being “confined” alone and unseen, most reports show that they were out in public attending (and even hosting) events right up until the end.
    There are few examples of clothes that were devoted specifically to maternity. There are several possibilities as to why this might be (and the truth is probably some combination of them all). Firstly, most images show that women simply wore their normal clothes, with editions such as aprons, shawls, and special waistcoats to cover the growing belly. The fact that their skirts rode up in the front, or that things didn’t close fully doesn’t seem to have been of much concern. Secondly, if they did make special clothes, they probably altered them after, or passed them on to be worn by friends and family until they were worn out. Thirdly, they simply weren’t considered important enough to save.
    There is a surviving etching of maternity stays (c. 1771). If you look closely you’ll see that there is an extra lace up the side labeled “A”.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/etching_pregnancystays_deidrot.jpg
    The Man of Business, 1774. The obviously pregnant women in this print are wearing a combination of shawls and aprons to alter their everyday clothes into maternity wear.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/themanofbusiness1774.jpg
    Quilted maternity Gown c. 1780-1795. The simple edition of a waistcoat under the gown transforms this compère front gown into an easily expandable maternity gown.
    Front-side view
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygown17801795.jpg
    Back view of waistcoat
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailback.jpg
    Close-up front view showing how the compère front is laced over the waistcoat
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailfront.jpg
    Front view of the dress in its everyday mode
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailclosed.jpg
    Diligence & Dissipation, c. 1796 (Gaugain and Hellyer after Northcote). The unwed pregnant woman is shown descending the stairs, her belly covered by an apron. The apron was so common a symbol of pregnancy that little girls playing dress-up would wear one when pretending to be pregnant.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/DiligenceDissipation1796.jpg
    Nursing gown, c. 1825-1830
    Gowns of earlier styles could simply be loosened and/or pulled down to nurse, but the gowns of the 20s and 30s had a much higher neckline, and closed in the back. The solutions was to design nursing gowns with a false front flap that opened at the waist to revel an under bodice with slits for the breasts (and no, I don’t know what kind of nursing corset they wore).
    Full gown
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Nursinggown18251830.jpg
    Detail, showing the front flap
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Nursinggowndeatil18251830.jpg
    For more information on pregnancy and early motherhood see “What Clothes Revel” by Linda Baumgarten. It has a whole section on this topic, complete with many excerpts from period diaries and letters.

    Reply
  19. ***Margaret: Also, how did women dress when they were pregnant? For some, that was pretty much their entire child-bearing years.
    No wonder women died young. Having to wear all that stuff. Imagine how miserable they were during hot weather. I remember my grandmother, born in the 1870’s, talking about how hot she would get under Southern summer skies.***
    Here’s my lesson on maternity clothes (essentially there were none). And women did NOT die young due to their clothing. Complications from pregnancy, yes, but NOT from their clothes. And you have to remember that this era comes at the end of the little ice age, so it was much cooler in England (the loons wearing the same stuff in India and the West Indies are a whole nother story).
    Maternity Clothes
    For most of the Georgian era pregnancy itself doesn’t seem to be something that was celebrated or treated as something to be memorialized. The safe delivery of a child certainly was, and it is that, not the pregnancy, that tends to show up in letters and diaries. In contrast to the myth of pregnant women being “confined” alone and unseen, most reports show that they were out in public attending (and even hosting) events right up until the end.
    There are few examples of clothes that were devoted specifically to maternity. There are several possibilities as to why this might be (and the truth is probably some combination of them all). Firstly, most images show that women simply wore their normal clothes, with editions such as aprons, shawls, and special waistcoats to cover the growing belly. The fact that their skirts rode up in the front, or that things didn’t close fully doesn’t seem to have been of much concern. Secondly, if they did make special clothes, they probably altered them after, or passed them on to be worn by friends and family until they were worn out. Thirdly, they simply weren’t considered important enough to save.
    There is a surviving etching of maternity stays (c. 1771). If you look closely you’ll see that there is an extra lace up the side labeled “A”.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/etching_pregnancystays_deidrot.jpg
    The Man of Business, 1774. The obviously pregnant women in this print are wearing a combination of shawls and aprons to alter their everyday clothes into maternity wear.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/themanofbusiness1774.jpg
    Quilted maternity Gown c. 1780-1795. The simple edition of a waistcoat under the gown transforms this compère front gown into an easily expandable maternity gown.
    Front-side view
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygown17801795.jpg
    Back view of waistcoat
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailback.jpg
    Close-up front view showing how the compère front is laced over the waistcoat
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailfront.jpg
    Front view of the dress in its everyday mode
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailclosed.jpg
    Diligence & Dissipation, c. 1796 (Gaugain and Hellyer after Northcote). The unwed pregnant woman is shown descending the stairs, her belly covered by an apron. The apron was so common a symbol of pregnancy that little girls playing dress-up would wear one when pretending to be pregnant.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/DiligenceDissipation1796.jpg
    Nursing gown, c. 1825-1830
    Gowns of earlier styles could simply be loosened and/or pulled down to nurse, but the gowns of the 20s and 30s had a much higher neckline, and closed in the back. The solutions was to design nursing gowns with a false front flap that opened at the waist to revel an under bodice with slits for the breasts (and no, I don’t know what kind of nursing corset they wore).
    Full gown
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Nursinggown18251830.jpg
    Detail, showing the front flap
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Nursinggowndeatil18251830.jpg
    For more information on pregnancy and early motherhood see “What Clothes Revel” by Linda Baumgarten. It has a whole section on this topic, complete with many excerpts from period diaries and letters.

    Reply
  20. ***Margaret: Also, how did women dress when they were pregnant? For some, that was pretty much their entire child-bearing years.
    No wonder women died young. Having to wear all that stuff. Imagine how miserable they were during hot weather. I remember my grandmother, born in the 1870’s, talking about how hot she would get under Southern summer skies.***
    Here’s my lesson on maternity clothes (essentially there were none). And women did NOT die young due to their clothing. Complications from pregnancy, yes, but NOT from their clothes. And you have to remember that this era comes at the end of the little ice age, so it was much cooler in England (the loons wearing the same stuff in India and the West Indies are a whole nother story).
    Maternity Clothes
    For most of the Georgian era pregnancy itself doesn’t seem to be something that was celebrated or treated as something to be memorialized. The safe delivery of a child certainly was, and it is that, not the pregnancy, that tends to show up in letters and diaries. In contrast to the myth of pregnant women being “confined” alone and unseen, most reports show that they were out in public attending (and even hosting) events right up until the end.
    There are few examples of clothes that were devoted specifically to maternity. There are several possibilities as to why this might be (and the truth is probably some combination of them all). Firstly, most images show that women simply wore their normal clothes, with editions such as aprons, shawls, and special waistcoats to cover the growing belly. The fact that their skirts rode up in the front, or that things didn’t close fully doesn’t seem to have been of much concern. Secondly, if they did make special clothes, they probably altered them after, or passed them on to be worn by friends and family until they were worn out. Thirdly, they simply weren’t considered important enough to save.
    There is a surviving etching of maternity stays (c. 1771). If you look closely you’ll see that there is an extra lace up the side labeled “A”.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/etching_pregnancystays_deidrot.jpg
    The Man of Business, 1774. The obviously pregnant women in this print are wearing a combination of shawls and aprons to alter their everyday clothes into maternity wear.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/themanofbusiness1774.jpg
    Quilted maternity Gown c. 1780-1795. The simple edition of a waistcoat under the gown transforms this compère front gown into an easily expandable maternity gown.
    Front-side view
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygown17801795.jpg
    Back view of waistcoat
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailback.jpg
    Close-up front view showing how the compère front is laced over the waistcoat
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailfront.jpg
    Front view of the dress in its everyday mode
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/maternitygowndetailclosed.jpg
    Diligence & Dissipation, c. 1796 (Gaugain and Hellyer after Northcote). The unwed pregnant woman is shown descending the stairs, her belly covered by an apron. The apron was so common a symbol of pregnancy that little girls playing dress-up would wear one when pretending to be pregnant.
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/DiligenceDissipation1796.jpg
    Nursing gown, c. 1825-1830
    Gowns of earlier styles could simply be loosened and/or pulled down to nurse, but the gowns of the 20s and 30s had a much higher neckline, and closed in the back. The solutions was to design nursing gowns with a false front flap that opened at the waist to revel an under bodice with slits for the breasts (and no, I don’t know what kind of nursing corset they wore).
    Full gown
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Nursinggown18251830.jpg
    Detail, showing the front flap
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Nursinggowndeatil18251830.jpg
    For more information on pregnancy and early motherhood see “What Clothes Revel” by Linda Baumgarten. It has a whole section on this topic, complete with many excerpts from period diaries and letters.

    Reply
  21. ***Kay: I am old enough to remember the “time of the month belts” and since hardly any romance novel heroine has those monthly visits, unless they are pregnant…what did they use?
    The short answer is that no one knows (and as I get asked this question EVERY TIME I give a workshop, I’ve researched it to death). There is NO documentation of how menstruation was dealt with before the mid-Victorian period that I’ve EVER been able to find (and I’ve discussed this topic with everyone from Jenea Whiteacre and Linda Baumgarten [the clothing experts at Colonial Williamsburg] to the international barber surgeons historical list [to see if there might be something in a medical text somewhere]).
    There is LOTS of guess work though, but it’s just that: GUESS WORK. The most likely answer is that they used some kind of rag, either pinned to a belt or worn diaper-style.
    ***Looking at the shoulders straps would make it impossible to have a spaghetti type dress like the one in Pride and Prejudice (the movie) wouldn’t it?***
    Don’t get me started on the atrocity that is the 2005 P&P movie. The fashions span a 40 year period (and I’m talking just what the Bennett sisters wear!) and much of what is worn is simply WRONG (like the afore mentioned spaghetti-strap gown). *shudder*

    Reply
  22. ***Kay: I am old enough to remember the “time of the month belts” and since hardly any romance novel heroine has those monthly visits, unless they are pregnant…what did they use?
    The short answer is that no one knows (and as I get asked this question EVERY TIME I give a workshop, I’ve researched it to death). There is NO documentation of how menstruation was dealt with before the mid-Victorian period that I’ve EVER been able to find (and I’ve discussed this topic with everyone from Jenea Whiteacre and Linda Baumgarten [the clothing experts at Colonial Williamsburg] to the international barber surgeons historical list [to see if there might be something in a medical text somewhere]).
    There is LOTS of guess work though, but it’s just that: GUESS WORK. The most likely answer is that they used some kind of rag, either pinned to a belt or worn diaper-style.
    ***Looking at the shoulders straps would make it impossible to have a spaghetti type dress like the one in Pride and Prejudice (the movie) wouldn’t it?***
    Don’t get me started on the atrocity that is the 2005 P&P movie. The fashions span a 40 year period (and I’m talking just what the Bennett sisters wear!) and much of what is worn is simply WRONG (like the afore mentioned spaghetti-strap gown). *shudder*

    Reply
  23. ***Kay: I am old enough to remember the “time of the month belts” and since hardly any romance novel heroine has those monthly visits, unless they are pregnant…what did they use?
    The short answer is that no one knows (and as I get asked this question EVERY TIME I give a workshop, I’ve researched it to death). There is NO documentation of how menstruation was dealt with before the mid-Victorian period that I’ve EVER been able to find (and I’ve discussed this topic with everyone from Jenea Whiteacre and Linda Baumgarten [the clothing experts at Colonial Williamsburg] to the international barber surgeons historical list [to see if there might be something in a medical text somewhere]).
    There is LOTS of guess work though, but it’s just that: GUESS WORK. The most likely answer is that they used some kind of rag, either pinned to a belt or worn diaper-style.
    ***Looking at the shoulders straps would make it impossible to have a spaghetti type dress like the one in Pride and Prejudice (the movie) wouldn’t it?***
    Don’t get me started on the atrocity that is the 2005 P&P movie. The fashions span a 40 year period (and I’m talking just what the Bennett sisters wear!) and much of what is worn is simply WRONG (like the afore mentioned spaghetti-strap gown). *shudder*

    Reply
  24. ***Kay: I am old enough to remember the “time of the month belts” and since hardly any romance novel heroine has those monthly visits, unless they are pregnant…what did they use?
    The short answer is that no one knows (and as I get asked this question EVERY TIME I give a workshop, I’ve researched it to death). There is NO documentation of how menstruation was dealt with before the mid-Victorian period that I’ve EVER been able to find (and I’ve discussed this topic with everyone from Jenea Whiteacre and Linda Baumgarten [the clothing experts at Colonial Williamsburg] to the international barber surgeons historical list [to see if there might be something in a medical text somewhere]).
    There is LOTS of guess work though, but it’s just that: GUESS WORK. The most likely answer is that they used some kind of rag, either pinned to a belt or worn diaper-style.
    ***Looking at the shoulders straps would make it impossible to have a spaghetti type dress like the one in Pride and Prejudice (the movie) wouldn’t it?***
    Don’t get me started on the atrocity that is the 2005 P&P movie. The fashions span a 40 year period (and I’m talking just what the Bennett sisters wear!) and much of what is worn is simply WRONG (like the afore mentioned spaghetti-strap gown). *shudder*

    Reply
  25. ***Kay: I am old enough to remember the “time of the month belts” and since hardly any romance novel heroine has those monthly visits, unless they are pregnant…what did they use?
    The short answer is that no one knows (and as I get asked this question EVERY TIME I give a workshop, I’ve researched it to death). There is NO documentation of how menstruation was dealt with before the mid-Victorian period that I’ve EVER been able to find (and I’ve discussed this topic with everyone from Jenea Whiteacre and Linda Baumgarten [the clothing experts at Colonial Williamsburg] to the international barber surgeons historical list [to see if there might be something in a medical text somewhere]).
    There is LOTS of guess work though, but it’s just that: GUESS WORK. The most likely answer is that they used some kind of rag, either pinned to a belt or worn diaper-style.
    ***Looking at the shoulders straps would make it impossible to have a spaghetti type dress like the one in Pride and Prejudice (the movie) wouldn’t it?***
    Don’t get me started on the atrocity that is the 2005 P&P movie. The fashions span a 40 year period (and I’m talking just what the Bennett sisters wear!) and much of what is worn is simply WRONG (like the afore mentioned spaghetti-strap gown). *shudder*

    Reply
  26. This is completely fascinating. I imagine (knowing nothing at all about it) that the many layers evolved in part to protect against the chill of winter in rooms “heated” by fireplaces, and in part so that the less valuable and more washable underclothes could soak up the sweat instead of letting it stain the silks etc. of the visible garments.
    I’m wondering how far down in society such elaborate layering extended. Surely the peasantry could not afford all this stuff, not to mention needing the use of their limbs in order to do the actual work.
    I’ve read somewhere that there was a period in English fashion when the ladies’ ballgowns were all but transparent, and cut so that the breast was fully visible. T or F?
    Thanks for all the information. Sadly, the truth is seldom as romantic as fiction!

    Reply
  27. This is completely fascinating. I imagine (knowing nothing at all about it) that the many layers evolved in part to protect against the chill of winter in rooms “heated” by fireplaces, and in part so that the less valuable and more washable underclothes could soak up the sweat instead of letting it stain the silks etc. of the visible garments.
    I’m wondering how far down in society such elaborate layering extended. Surely the peasantry could not afford all this stuff, not to mention needing the use of their limbs in order to do the actual work.
    I’ve read somewhere that there was a period in English fashion when the ladies’ ballgowns were all but transparent, and cut so that the breast was fully visible. T or F?
    Thanks for all the information. Sadly, the truth is seldom as romantic as fiction!

    Reply
  28. This is completely fascinating. I imagine (knowing nothing at all about it) that the many layers evolved in part to protect against the chill of winter in rooms “heated” by fireplaces, and in part so that the less valuable and more washable underclothes could soak up the sweat instead of letting it stain the silks etc. of the visible garments.
    I’m wondering how far down in society such elaborate layering extended. Surely the peasantry could not afford all this stuff, not to mention needing the use of their limbs in order to do the actual work.
    I’ve read somewhere that there was a period in English fashion when the ladies’ ballgowns were all but transparent, and cut so that the breast was fully visible. T or F?
    Thanks for all the information. Sadly, the truth is seldom as romantic as fiction!

    Reply
  29. This is completely fascinating. I imagine (knowing nothing at all about it) that the many layers evolved in part to protect against the chill of winter in rooms “heated” by fireplaces, and in part so that the less valuable and more washable underclothes could soak up the sweat instead of letting it stain the silks etc. of the visible garments.
    I’m wondering how far down in society such elaborate layering extended. Surely the peasantry could not afford all this stuff, not to mention needing the use of their limbs in order to do the actual work.
    I’ve read somewhere that there was a period in English fashion when the ladies’ ballgowns were all but transparent, and cut so that the breast was fully visible. T or F?
    Thanks for all the information. Sadly, the truth is seldom as romantic as fiction!

    Reply
  30. This is completely fascinating. I imagine (knowing nothing at all about it) that the many layers evolved in part to protect against the chill of winter in rooms “heated” by fireplaces, and in part so that the less valuable and more washable underclothes could soak up the sweat instead of letting it stain the silks etc. of the visible garments.
    I’m wondering how far down in society such elaborate layering extended. Surely the peasantry could not afford all this stuff, not to mention needing the use of their limbs in order to do the actual work.
    I’ve read somewhere that there was a period in English fashion when the ladies’ ballgowns were all but transparent, and cut so that the breast was fully visible. T or F?
    Thanks for all the information. Sadly, the truth is seldom as romantic as fiction!

    Reply
  31. ***I’m wondering how far down in society such elaborate layering extended. Surely the peasantry could not afford all this stuff, not to mention needing the use of their limbs in order to do the actual work.***
    This very much depends on the strata of society that the person we’re talking about inhabits. There are plenty of period journals and letters that mention foreign visitors not being able to tell the maids from their mistresses, and there is ample evidence that the women of the middle class dressed as much like the ton as they could. Where the clothing line breaks down is in the actual laboring peasantry. Most laborers (factory workers, farmer’s wifes, etc.) were still wearing 18th century styles (petticoats, 18th century style stays, and “bed jackets” [sort of like a short kimono or “happi coat” that wrapped around over the stays]). You can see examples of this in George Walker’s 1814 study “The Costume of Yorkshire” (note that stays are not considered underwear by this strata of society and are worn openly while working both inside the house and in the fields):
    http://www.maggieblanck.com/Land/OPCE.html

    Reply
  32. ***I’m wondering how far down in society such elaborate layering extended. Surely the peasantry could not afford all this stuff, not to mention needing the use of their limbs in order to do the actual work.***
    This very much depends on the strata of society that the person we’re talking about inhabits. There are plenty of period journals and letters that mention foreign visitors not being able to tell the maids from their mistresses, and there is ample evidence that the women of the middle class dressed as much like the ton as they could. Where the clothing line breaks down is in the actual laboring peasantry. Most laborers (factory workers, farmer’s wifes, etc.) were still wearing 18th century styles (petticoats, 18th century style stays, and “bed jackets” [sort of like a short kimono or “happi coat” that wrapped around over the stays]). You can see examples of this in George Walker’s 1814 study “The Costume of Yorkshire” (note that stays are not considered underwear by this strata of society and are worn openly while working both inside the house and in the fields):
    http://www.maggieblanck.com/Land/OPCE.html

    Reply
  33. ***I’m wondering how far down in society such elaborate layering extended. Surely the peasantry could not afford all this stuff, not to mention needing the use of their limbs in order to do the actual work.***
    This very much depends on the strata of society that the person we’re talking about inhabits. There are plenty of period journals and letters that mention foreign visitors not being able to tell the maids from their mistresses, and there is ample evidence that the women of the middle class dressed as much like the ton as they could. Where the clothing line breaks down is in the actual laboring peasantry. Most laborers (factory workers, farmer’s wifes, etc.) were still wearing 18th century styles (petticoats, 18th century style stays, and “bed jackets” [sort of like a short kimono or “happi coat” that wrapped around over the stays]). You can see examples of this in George Walker’s 1814 study “The Costume of Yorkshire” (note that stays are not considered underwear by this strata of society and are worn openly while working both inside the house and in the fields):
    http://www.maggieblanck.com/Land/OPCE.html

    Reply
  34. ***I’m wondering how far down in society such elaborate layering extended. Surely the peasantry could not afford all this stuff, not to mention needing the use of their limbs in order to do the actual work.***
    This very much depends on the strata of society that the person we’re talking about inhabits. There are plenty of period journals and letters that mention foreign visitors not being able to tell the maids from their mistresses, and there is ample evidence that the women of the middle class dressed as much like the ton as they could. Where the clothing line breaks down is in the actual laboring peasantry. Most laborers (factory workers, farmer’s wifes, etc.) were still wearing 18th century styles (petticoats, 18th century style stays, and “bed jackets” [sort of like a short kimono or “happi coat” that wrapped around over the stays]). You can see examples of this in George Walker’s 1814 study “The Costume of Yorkshire” (note that stays are not considered underwear by this strata of society and are worn openly while working both inside the house and in the fields):
    http://www.maggieblanck.com/Land/OPCE.html

    Reply
  35. ***I’m wondering how far down in society such elaborate layering extended. Surely the peasantry could not afford all this stuff, not to mention needing the use of their limbs in order to do the actual work.***
    This very much depends on the strata of society that the person we’re talking about inhabits. There are plenty of period journals and letters that mention foreign visitors not being able to tell the maids from their mistresses, and there is ample evidence that the women of the middle class dressed as much like the ton as they could. Where the clothing line breaks down is in the actual laboring peasantry. Most laborers (factory workers, farmer’s wifes, etc.) were still wearing 18th century styles (petticoats, 18th century style stays, and “bed jackets” [sort of like a short kimono or “happi coat” that wrapped around over the stays]). You can see examples of this in George Walker’s 1814 study “The Costume of Yorkshire” (note that stays are not considered underwear by this strata of society and are worn openly while working both inside the house and in the fields):
    http://www.maggieblanck.com/Land/OPCE.html

    Reply
  36. ***I’ve read somewhere that there was a period in English fashion when the ladies’ ballgowns were all but transparent, and cut so that the breast was fully visible. T or F?***
    I’d day False . . . but with a couple of caveats. There WAS a faze in FRENCH fashion (c. 1790-1805) where the gowns were extremely transparent and stays were either left off entirely or only an under-bust “bust bodice” was worn. There are numerous comments upon this style in both written records, as well as in satirical cartoons. I haven’t seen evidence that this style ever prevailed in England however (or really outside of Paris for that matter). And during the 18th century the nipple simply wasn’t scandalous the way it is now. You do see ladies in gowns with their nipples covered only by their fichu.
    Bust Bodice, c. 1800
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Frenchbustbodice18001810.jpg
    Young Woman in White, c. 1800
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Youngwomaninwhite.jpg
    “TOO MUCH and TOO LITTLE, or Summer Cloathing of 1556 & 1796”, satirical print by Isaac Cruikshank:
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/15561796.gif
    Louis Boilly, “Point de Convention” — Semi-satirical painting depicting extreme clothing styles worn by young French fashionables (“incroyables” and “merveilleuses”), ca. 1797:
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/boilypdc.jpg
    “Parisian Ladies in their Full Winter Dress for 1800” (exaggerated satirical print by Isaac Cruikshank, Nov. 24th 1799):
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/1800crks.jpg

    Reply
  37. ***I’ve read somewhere that there was a period in English fashion when the ladies’ ballgowns were all but transparent, and cut so that the breast was fully visible. T or F?***
    I’d day False . . . but with a couple of caveats. There WAS a faze in FRENCH fashion (c. 1790-1805) where the gowns were extremely transparent and stays were either left off entirely or only an under-bust “bust bodice” was worn. There are numerous comments upon this style in both written records, as well as in satirical cartoons. I haven’t seen evidence that this style ever prevailed in England however (or really outside of Paris for that matter). And during the 18th century the nipple simply wasn’t scandalous the way it is now. You do see ladies in gowns with their nipples covered only by their fichu.
    Bust Bodice, c. 1800
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Frenchbustbodice18001810.jpg
    Young Woman in White, c. 1800
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Youngwomaninwhite.jpg
    “TOO MUCH and TOO LITTLE, or Summer Cloathing of 1556 & 1796”, satirical print by Isaac Cruikshank:
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/15561796.gif
    Louis Boilly, “Point de Convention” — Semi-satirical painting depicting extreme clothing styles worn by young French fashionables (“incroyables” and “merveilleuses”), ca. 1797:
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/boilypdc.jpg
    “Parisian Ladies in their Full Winter Dress for 1800” (exaggerated satirical print by Isaac Cruikshank, Nov. 24th 1799):
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/1800crks.jpg

    Reply
  38. ***I’ve read somewhere that there was a period in English fashion when the ladies’ ballgowns were all but transparent, and cut so that the breast was fully visible. T or F?***
    I’d day False . . . but with a couple of caveats. There WAS a faze in FRENCH fashion (c. 1790-1805) where the gowns were extremely transparent and stays were either left off entirely or only an under-bust “bust bodice” was worn. There are numerous comments upon this style in both written records, as well as in satirical cartoons. I haven’t seen evidence that this style ever prevailed in England however (or really outside of Paris for that matter). And during the 18th century the nipple simply wasn’t scandalous the way it is now. You do see ladies in gowns with their nipples covered only by their fichu.
    Bust Bodice, c. 1800
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Frenchbustbodice18001810.jpg
    Young Woman in White, c. 1800
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Youngwomaninwhite.jpg
    “TOO MUCH and TOO LITTLE, or Summer Cloathing of 1556 & 1796”, satirical print by Isaac Cruikshank:
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/15561796.gif
    Louis Boilly, “Point de Convention” — Semi-satirical painting depicting extreme clothing styles worn by young French fashionables (“incroyables” and “merveilleuses”), ca. 1797:
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/boilypdc.jpg
    “Parisian Ladies in their Full Winter Dress for 1800” (exaggerated satirical print by Isaac Cruikshank, Nov. 24th 1799):
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/1800crks.jpg

    Reply
  39. ***I’ve read somewhere that there was a period in English fashion when the ladies’ ballgowns were all but transparent, and cut so that the breast was fully visible. T or F?***
    I’d day False . . . but with a couple of caveats. There WAS a faze in FRENCH fashion (c. 1790-1805) where the gowns were extremely transparent and stays were either left off entirely or only an under-bust “bust bodice” was worn. There are numerous comments upon this style in both written records, as well as in satirical cartoons. I haven’t seen evidence that this style ever prevailed in England however (or really outside of Paris for that matter). And during the 18th century the nipple simply wasn’t scandalous the way it is now. You do see ladies in gowns with their nipples covered only by their fichu.
    Bust Bodice, c. 1800
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Frenchbustbodice18001810.jpg
    Young Woman in White, c. 1800
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Youngwomaninwhite.jpg
    “TOO MUCH and TOO LITTLE, or Summer Cloathing of 1556 & 1796”, satirical print by Isaac Cruikshank:
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/15561796.gif
    Louis Boilly, “Point de Convention” — Semi-satirical painting depicting extreme clothing styles worn by young French fashionables (“incroyables” and “merveilleuses”), ca. 1797:
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/boilypdc.jpg
    “Parisian Ladies in their Full Winter Dress for 1800” (exaggerated satirical print by Isaac Cruikshank, Nov. 24th 1799):
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/1800crks.jpg

    Reply
  40. ***I’ve read somewhere that there was a period in English fashion when the ladies’ ballgowns were all but transparent, and cut so that the breast was fully visible. T or F?***
    I’d day False . . . but with a couple of caveats. There WAS a faze in FRENCH fashion (c. 1790-1805) where the gowns were extremely transparent and stays were either left off entirely or only an under-bust “bust bodice” was worn. There are numerous comments upon this style in both written records, as well as in satirical cartoons. I haven’t seen evidence that this style ever prevailed in England however (or really outside of Paris for that matter). And during the 18th century the nipple simply wasn’t scandalous the way it is now. You do see ladies in gowns with their nipples covered only by their fichu.
    Bust Bodice, c. 1800
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Frenchbustbodice18001810.jpg
    Young Woman in White, c. 1800
    http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l35/TondaFuller/Youngwomaninwhite.jpg
    “TOO MUCH and TOO LITTLE, or Summer Cloathing of 1556 & 1796”, satirical print by Isaac Cruikshank:
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/15561796.gif
    Louis Boilly, “Point de Convention” — Semi-satirical painting depicting extreme clothing styles worn by young French fashionables (“incroyables” and “merveilleuses”), ca. 1797:
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/boilypdc.jpg
    “Parisian Ladies in their Full Winter Dress for 1800” (exaggerated satirical print by Isaac Cruikshank, Nov. 24th 1799):
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/1800crks.jpg

    Reply
  41. Those pix are fabulous! I have trouble imagining how any woman could be simultaneously so modest (if it WAS modesty) that she couldn’t let her naked hand touch a man’s naked hand, and yet wear the neckline of her evening gown so low that it would render most modern females painfully self-conscious.
    I suspect that fashion is a secret language spoken only by the select group that has set it, which changes more quickly than the mind can follow. Most likely the basic messsage is always the same: “We are We, and You are Not.” Kind of like high school, really.

    Reply
  42. Those pix are fabulous! I have trouble imagining how any woman could be simultaneously so modest (if it WAS modesty) that she couldn’t let her naked hand touch a man’s naked hand, and yet wear the neckline of her evening gown so low that it would render most modern females painfully self-conscious.
    I suspect that fashion is a secret language spoken only by the select group that has set it, which changes more quickly than the mind can follow. Most likely the basic messsage is always the same: “We are We, and You are Not.” Kind of like high school, really.

    Reply
  43. Those pix are fabulous! I have trouble imagining how any woman could be simultaneously so modest (if it WAS modesty) that she couldn’t let her naked hand touch a man’s naked hand, and yet wear the neckline of her evening gown so low that it would render most modern females painfully self-conscious.
    I suspect that fashion is a secret language spoken only by the select group that has set it, which changes more quickly than the mind can follow. Most likely the basic messsage is always the same: “We are We, and You are Not.” Kind of like high school, really.

    Reply
  44. Those pix are fabulous! I have trouble imagining how any woman could be simultaneously so modest (if it WAS modesty) that she couldn’t let her naked hand touch a man’s naked hand, and yet wear the neckline of her evening gown so low that it would render most modern females painfully self-conscious.
    I suspect that fashion is a secret language spoken only by the select group that has set it, which changes more quickly than the mind can follow. Most likely the basic messsage is always the same: “We are We, and You are Not.” Kind of like high school, really.

    Reply
  45. Those pix are fabulous! I have trouble imagining how any woman could be simultaneously so modest (if it WAS modesty) that she couldn’t let her naked hand touch a man’s naked hand, and yet wear the neckline of her evening gown so low that it would render most modern females painfully self-conscious.
    I suspect that fashion is a secret language spoken only by the select group that has set it, which changes more quickly than the mind can follow. Most likely the basic messsage is always the same: “We are We, and You are Not.” Kind of like high school, really.

    Reply
  46. Elaine, you have to be aware that the extremely ridged mores of the middle class and gentry were not the same as those of the very wealthy and the aristocracy. Plus, the ideas that many people have of what the mores of the Regency were are often founded—erroneously IMO—on the books of Georgette Heyer (which while WONDERFUL have a distinctly Victorian feel to them in regards to the “rules” under which ladies live). Odds are that the women wearing the scandalous gowns were not the same ones concerned about the touch of a bare hand. LOL!

    Reply
  47. Elaine, you have to be aware that the extremely ridged mores of the middle class and gentry were not the same as those of the very wealthy and the aristocracy. Plus, the ideas that many people have of what the mores of the Regency were are often founded—erroneously IMO—on the books of Georgette Heyer (which while WONDERFUL have a distinctly Victorian feel to them in regards to the “rules” under which ladies live). Odds are that the women wearing the scandalous gowns were not the same ones concerned about the touch of a bare hand. LOL!

    Reply
  48. Elaine, you have to be aware that the extremely ridged mores of the middle class and gentry were not the same as those of the very wealthy and the aristocracy. Plus, the ideas that many people have of what the mores of the Regency were are often founded—erroneously IMO—on the books of Georgette Heyer (which while WONDERFUL have a distinctly Victorian feel to them in regards to the “rules” under which ladies live). Odds are that the women wearing the scandalous gowns were not the same ones concerned about the touch of a bare hand. LOL!

    Reply
  49. Elaine, you have to be aware that the extremely ridged mores of the middle class and gentry were not the same as those of the very wealthy and the aristocracy. Plus, the ideas that many people have of what the mores of the Regency were are often founded—erroneously IMO—on the books of Georgette Heyer (which while WONDERFUL have a distinctly Victorian feel to them in regards to the “rules” under which ladies live). Odds are that the women wearing the scandalous gowns were not the same ones concerned about the touch of a bare hand. LOL!

    Reply
  50. Elaine, you have to be aware that the extremely ridged mores of the middle class and gentry were not the same as those of the very wealthy and the aristocracy. Plus, the ideas that many people have of what the mores of the Regency were are often founded—erroneously IMO—on the books of Georgette Heyer (which while WONDERFUL have a distinctly Victorian feel to them in regards to the “rules” under which ladies live). Odds are that the women wearing the scandalous gowns were not the same ones concerned about the touch of a bare hand. LOL!

    Reply
  51. Thanks, Kalen, for two fabulous fashion blogs. Excellent point re Georgette Heyer. The books are wonderful, but I agree that we need to remember she’s conveying the values of her time–as we do in the stories we write today.

    Reply
  52. Thanks, Kalen, for two fabulous fashion blogs. Excellent point re Georgette Heyer. The books are wonderful, but I agree that we need to remember she’s conveying the values of her time–as we do in the stories we write today.

    Reply
  53. Thanks, Kalen, for two fabulous fashion blogs. Excellent point re Georgette Heyer. The books are wonderful, but I agree that we need to remember she’s conveying the values of her time–as we do in the stories we write today.

    Reply
  54. Thanks, Kalen, for two fabulous fashion blogs. Excellent point re Georgette Heyer. The books are wonderful, but I agree that we need to remember she’s conveying the values of her time–as we do in the stories we write today.

    Reply
  55. Thanks, Kalen, for two fabulous fashion blogs. Excellent point re Georgette Heyer. The books are wonderful, but I agree that we need to remember she’s conveying the values of her time–as we do in the stories we write today.

    Reply
  56. I am really enjoying this information- my question- what were half-boots? Our heroine is always lacing them up. Are they a boot, or what my mom called Oxfords and the Army called “low-quarters”? Thanks for this fun blog!

    Reply
  57. I am really enjoying this information- my question- what were half-boots? Our heroine is always lacing them up. Are they a boot, or what my mom called Oxfords and the Army called “low-quarters”? Thanks for this fun blog!

    Reply
  58. I am really enjoying this information- my question- what were half-boots? Our heroine is always lacing them up. Are they a boot, or what my mom called Oxfords and the Army called “low-quarters”? Thanks for this fun blog!

    Reply
  59. I am really enjoying this information- my question- what were half-boots? Our heroine is always lacing them up. Are they a boot, or what my mom called Oxfords and the Army called “low-quarters”? Thanks for this fun blog!

    Reply
  60. I am really enjoying this information- my question- what were half-boots? Our heroine is always lacing them up. Are they a boot, or what my mom called Oxfords and the Army called “low-quarters”? Thanks for this fun blog!

    Reply
  61. HALF-BOOTS
    The only slightly more serviceable shoe of the day was the half-boot. These are ankle boots, and very like a modern jazz boot. Like pumps they could be made of almost anything, though jean, kid, and leather predominate.
    These were commonly worn for driving, walking, etc. Anything where a lady might want a little bit more protection than a slipper could provide. They could lace up the front or up the side (on the inside of the boot).
    Three half-boots. From the top down, c. 1810-1820; c. 1825-1830; c. 1840
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/boots-1820-1840s.jpg
    Half-boot, c. 1820
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/half-boot-1820.jpg
    Girl’s half-boot, c. 1830-1850
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/girls-boot-c1850.jpg
    Half-boot, c. 1835
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/half-boot-c-1835.jpg

    Reply
  62. HALF-BOOTS
    The only slightly more serviceable shoe of the day was the half-boot. These are ankle boots, and very like a modern jazz boot. Like pumps they could be made of almost anything, though jean, kid, and leather predominate.
    These were commonly worn for driving, walking, etc. Anything where a lady might want a little bit more protection than a slipper could provide. They could lace up the front or up the side (on the inside of the boot).
    Three half-boots. From the top down, c. 1810-1820; c. 1825-1830; c. 1840
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/boots-1820-1840s.jpg
    Half-boot, c. 1820
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/half-boot-1820.jpg
    Girl’s half-boot, c. 1830-1850
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/girls-boot-c1850.jpg
    Half-boot, c. 1835
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/half-boot-c-1835.jpg

    Reply
  63. HALF-BOOTS
    The only slightly more serviceable shoe of the day was the half-boot. These are ankle boots, and very like a modern jazz boot. Like pumps they could be made of almost anything, though jean, kid, and leather predominate.
    These were commonly worn for driving, walking, etc. Anything where a lady might want a little bit more protection than a slipper could provide. They could lace up the front or up the side (on the inside of the boot).
    Three half-boots. From the top down, c. 1810-1820; c. 1825-1830; c. 1840
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/boots-1820-1840s.jpg
    Half-boot, c. 1820
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/half-boot-1820.jpg
    Girl’s half-boot, c. 1830-1850
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/girls-boot-c1850.jpg
    Half-boot, c. 1835
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/half-boot-c-1835.jpg

    Reply
  64. HALF-BOOTS
    The only slightly more serviceable shoe of the day was the half-boot. These are ankle boots, and very like a modern jazz boot. Like pumps they could be made of almost anything, though jean, kid, and leather predominate.
    These were commonly worn for driving, walking, etc. Anything where a lady might want a little bit more protection than a slipper could provide. They could lace up the front or up the side (on the inside of the boot).
    Three half-boots. From the top down, c. 1810-1820; c. 1825-1830; c. 1840
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/boots-1820-1840s.jpg
    Half-boot, c. 1820
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/half-boot-1820.jpg
    Girl’s half-boot, c. 1830-1850
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/girls-boot-c1850.jpg
    Half-boot, c. 1835
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/half-boot-c-1835.jpg

    Reply
  65. HALF-BOOTS
    The only slightly more serviceable shoe of the day was the half-boot. These are ankle boots, and very like a modern jazz boot. Like pumps they could be made of almost anything, though jean, kid, and leather predominate.
    These were commonly worn for driving, walking, etc. Anything where a lady might want a little bit more protection than a slipper could provide. They could lace up the front or up the side (on the inside of the boot).
    Three half-boots. From the top down, c. 1810-1820; c. 1825-1830; c. 1840
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/boots-1820-1840s.jpg
    Half-boot, c. 1820
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/half-boot-1820.jpg
    Girl’s half-boot, c. 1830-1850
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/girls-boot-c1850.jpg
    Half-boot, c. 1835
    http://www.pemberley.com/images/Clothes/half-boot-c-1835.jpg

    Reply
  66. ***At what age would a girl have begun wearing corsets***
    Children of both sexes began wearing corsets as young as three months of age (extant examples exist!). Boys gave them up along with their dresses when they were breeched (anywhere from age three to eight). Girls continued to wear them for life.

    Reply
  67. ***At what age would a girl have begun wearing corsets***
    Children of both sexes began wearing corsets as young as three months of age (extant examples exist!). Boys gave them up along with their dresses when they were breeched (anywhere from age three to eight). Girls continued to wear them for life.

    Reply
  68. ***At what age would a girl have begun wearing corsets***
    Children of both sexes began wearing corsets as young as three months of age (extant examples exist!). Boys gave them up along with their dresses when they were breeched (anywhere from age three to eight). Girls continued to wear them for life.

    Reply
  69. ***At what age would a girl have begun wearing corsets***
    Children of both sexes began wearing corsets as young as three months of age (extant examples exist!). Boys gave them up along with their dresses when they were breeched (anywhere from age three to eight). Girls continued to wear them for life.

    Reply
  70. ***At what age would a girl have begun wearing corsets***
    Children of both sexes began wearing corsets as young as three months of age (extant examples exist!). Boys gave them up along with their dresses when they were breeched (anywhere from age three to eight). Girls continued to wear them for life.

    Reply
  71. Not very restrictive. Mostly they just promoted good posture. The ones for babies are barely more than a lace-up vest. The ones for small children are a little more solid, but still adapted for a child. You also have to remember that behavioral norms were likely to have been different. Children were just starting to be seen as something separate from small adults (poor children began working as young as 4!). Only recently (in the late 18th century) had children’s clothing begun to be it’s own subset, as opposed to simply dressing the kids like little adults. I doubt that the behavior and freedom that we take for granted among our own children was anywhere near the norm then.

    Reply
  72. Not very restrictive. Mostly they just promoted good posture. The ones for babies are barely more than a lace-up vest. The ones for small children are a little more solid, but still adapted for a child. You also have to remember that behavioral norms were likely to have been different. Children were just starting to be seen as something separate from small adults (poor children began working as young as 4!). Only recently (in the late 18th century) had children’s clothing begun to be it’s own subset, as opposed to simply dressing the kids like little adults. I doubt that the behavior and freedom that we take for granted among our own children was anywhere near the norm then.

    Reply
  73. Not very restrictive. Mostly they just promoted good posture. The ones for babies are barely more than a lace-up vest. The ones for small children are a little more solid, but still adapted for a child. You also have to remember that behavioral norms were likely to have been different. Children were just starting to be seen as something separate from small adults (poor children began working as young as 4!). Only recently (in the late 18th century) had children’s clothing begun to be it’s own subset, as opposed to simply dressing the kids like little adults. I doubt that the behavior and freedom that we take for granted among our own children was anywhere near the norm then.

    Reply
  74. Not very restrictive. Mostly they just promoted good posture. The ones for babies are barely more than a lace-up vest. The ones for small children are a little more solid, but still adapted for a child. You also have to remember that behavioral norms were likely to have been different. Children were just starting to be seen as something separate from small adults (poor children began working as young as 4!). Only recently (in the late 18th century) had children’s clothing begun to be it’s own subset, as opposed to simply dressing the kids like little adults. I doubt that the behavior and freedom that we take for granted among our own children was anywhere near the norm then.

    Reply
  75. Not very restrictive. Mostly they just promoted good posture. The ones for babies are barely more than a lace-up vest. The ones for small children are a little more solid, but still adapted for a child. You also have to remember that behavioral norms were likely to have been different. Children were just starting to be seen as something separate from small adults (poor children began working as young as 4!). Only recently (in the late 18th century) had children’s clothing begun to be it’s own subset, as opposed to simply dressing the kids like little adults. I doubt that the behavior and freedom that we take for granted among our own children was anywhere near the norm then.

    Reply
  76. Returning to the intriguing question of sanitary protection, ‘rags’ that were washed and re-used were in use until well into the 20th century, and of course, many women would not have needed them all that often since, once married, they would be either pregnant or lactating for quite long periods of time. But there is still a question-mark over the way in which cloths or pads were held safely in place throughout the many centuries when no undergarment was worn. Pinning to a belt was certainly an option once the modern safety-pin had come into use, and this is how many sanitary pads were anchored in the 1950s, with safety-pins rather than loops. But although the safety-pin had been invented around the 12th century BC, it was forgotten again (like so many sensible inventions of the Classical world), and the whole medieval and modern period up to the 19th century relied on buttons and ties and sewing-in-place.
    My guess is that the necessary ‘rags’ were somehow tied onto a belt woth tapes. But how extraordinary that nobody actually knows, even for such a recent period as the Regency! You’d think that some less-than-respectable ladies might have mentioned the topic in their writings.
    🙂

    Reply
  77. Returning to the intriguing question of sanitary protection, ‘rags’ that were washed and re-used were in use until well into the 20th century, and of course, many women would not have needed them all that often since, once married, they would be either pregnant or lactating for quite long periods of time. But there is still a question-mark over the way in which cloths or pads were held safely in place throughout the many centuries when no undergarment was worn. Pinning to a belt was certainly an option once the modern safety-pin had come into use, and this is how many sanitary pads were anchored in the 1950s, with safety-pins rather than loops. But although the safety-pin had been invented around the 12th century BC, it was forgotten again (like so many sensible inventions of the Classical world), and the whole medieval and modern period up to the 19th century relied on buttons and ties and sewing-in-place.
    My guess is that the necessary ‘rags’ were somehow tied onto a belt woth tapes. But how extraordinary that nobody actually knows, even for such a recent period as the Regency! You’d think that some less-than-respectable ladies might have mentioned the topic in their writings.
    🙂

    Reply
  78. Returning to the intriguing question of sanitary protection, ‘rags’ that were washed and re-used were in use until well into the 20th century, and of course, many women would not have needed them all that often since, once married, they would be either pregnant or lactating for quite long periods of time. But there is still a question-mark over the way in which cloths or pads were held safely in place throughout the many centuries when no undergarment was worn. Pinning to a belt was certainly an option once the modern safety-pin had come into use, and this is how many sanitary pads were anchored in the 1950s, with safety-pins rather than loops. But although the safety-pin had been invented around the 12th century BC, it was forgotten again (like so many sensible inventions of the Classical world), and the whole medieval and modern period up to the 19th century relied on buttons and ties and sewing-in-place.
    My guess is that the necessary ‘rags’ were somehow tied onto a belt woth tapes. But how extraordinary that nobody actually knows, even for such a recent period as the Regency! You’d think that some less-than-respectable ladies might have mentioned the topic in their writings.
    🙂

    Reply
  79. Returning to the intriguing question of sanitary protection, ‘rags’ that were washed and re-used were in use until well into the 20th century, and of course, many women would not have needed them all that often since, once married, they would be either pregnant or lactating for quite long periods of time. But there is still a question-mark over the way in which cloths or pads were held safely in place throughout the many centuries when no undergarment was worn. Pinning to a belt was certainly an option once the modern safety-pin had come into use, and this is how many sanitary pads were anchored in the 1950s, with safety-pins rather than loops. But although the safety-pin had been invented around the 12th century BC, it was forgotten again (like so many sensible inventions of the Classical world), and the whole medieval and modern period up to the 19th century relied on buttons and ties and sewing-in-place.
    My guess is that the necessary ‘rags’ were somehow tied onto a belt woth tapes. But how extraordinary that nobody actually knows, even for such a recent period as the Regency! You’d think that some less-than-respectable ladies might have mentioned the topic in their writings.
    🙂

    Reply
  80. Returning to the intriguing question of sanitary protection, ‘rags’ that were washed and re-used were in use until well into the 20th century, and of course, many women would not have needed them all that often since, once married, they would be either pregnant or lactating for quite long periods of time. But there is still a question-mark over the way in which cloths or pads were held safely in place throughout the many centuries when no undergarment was worn. Pinning to a belt was certainly an option once the modern safety-pin had come into use, and this is how many sanitary pads were anchored in the 1950s, with safety-pins rather than loops. But although the safety-pin had been invented around the 12th century BC, it was forgotten again (like so many sensible inventions of the Classical world), and the whole medieval and modern period up to the 19th century relied on buttons and ties and sewing-in-place.
    My guess is that the necessary ‘rags’ were somehow tied onto a belt woth tapes. But how extraordinary that nobody actually knows, even for such a recent period as the Regency! You’d think that some less-than-respectable ladies might have mentioned the topic in their writings.
    🙂

    Reply
  81. An interesting little sidelight on how the meanings of words for garments change over time is the more recent (but now old-fashioned) meaning of ‘spencer’ in British English. From being the short outer coat or jacket described by Kalen, ‘spencer’ eventually came to mean a short, waist-length winter UNDERgarment (what we call a ‘vest’), usually made of fine, knitted wool. Both the garment and the word have now pretty well disappeared.

    Reply
  82. An interesting little sidelight on how the meanings of words for garments change over time is the more recent (but now old-fashioned) meaning of ‘spencer’ in British English. From being the short outer coat or jacket described by Kalen, ‘spencer’ eventually came to mean a short, waist-length winter UNDERgarment (what we call a ‘vest’), usually made of fine, knitted wool. Both the garment and the word have now pretty well disappeared.

    Reply
  83. An interesting little sidelight on how the meanings of words for garments change over time is the more recent (but now old-fashioned) meaning of ‘spencer’ in British English. From being the short outer coat or jacket described by Kalen, ‘spencer’ eventually came to mean a short, waist-length winter UNDERgarment (what we call a ‘vest’), usually made of fine, knitted wool. Both the garment and the word have now pretty well disappeared.

    Reply
  84. An interesting little sidelight on how the meanings of words for garments change over time is the more recent (but now old-fashioned) meaning of ‘spencer’ in British English. From being the short outer coat or jacket described by Kalen, ‘spencer’ eventually came to mean a short, waist-length winter UNDERgarment (what we call a ‘vest’), usually made of fine, knitted wool. Both the garment and the word have now pretty well disappeared.

    Reply
  85. An interesting little sidelight on how the meanings of words for garments change over time is the more recent (but now old-fashioned) meaning of ‘spencer’ in British English. From being the short outer coat or jacket described by Kalen, ‘spencer’ eventually came to mean a short, waist-length winter UNDERgarment (what we call a ‘vest’), usually made of fine, knitted wool. Both the garment and the word have now pretty well disappeared.

    Reply
  86. Great post! Just wondering, since there was more exposure of the bosom during the Regency, do you think men were as fascinated with them as they are now or was there something else that was the hot item?

    Reply
  87. Great post! Just wondering, since there was more exposure of the bosom during the Regency, do you think men were as fascinated with them as they are now or was there something else that was the hot item?

    Reply
  88. Great post! Just wondering, since there was more exposure of the bosom during the Regency, do you think men were as fascinated with them as they are now or was there something else that was the hot item?

    Reply
  89. Great post! Just wondering, since there was more exposure of the bosom during the Regency, do you think men were as fascinated with them as they are now or was there something else that was the hot item?

    Reply
  90. Great post! Just wondering, since there was more exposure of the bosom during the Regency, do you think men were as fascinated with them as they are now or was there something else that was the hot item?

    Reply
  91. Kay, I think the “boob thing” is pretty much hardwired for men. LOL! Even my gay friends state emphatically that boobs are still pretty cool even when they’re not your thing.
    I think in any era that whatever is hidden becomes at least slightly fetishized (is that a word?). My understanding is that early on, when skirts were floor-length, ankles were quite the thing. When skirts shortened in the late teens the “forbidden” (and therefore interesting) moved up slightly to the calf . . .

    Reply
  92. Kay, I think the “boob thing” is pretty much hardwired for men. LOL! Even my gay friends state emphatically that boobs are still pretty cool even when they’re not your thing.
    I think in any era that whatever is hidden becomes at least slightly fetishized (is that a word?). My understanding is that early on, when skirts were floor-length, ankles were quite the thing. When skirts shortened in the late teens the “forbidden” (and therefore interesting) moved up slightly to the calf . . .

    Reply
  93. Kay, I think the “boob thing” is pretty much hardwired for men. LOL! Even my gay friends state emphatically that boobs are still pretty cool even when they’re not your thing.
    I think in any era that whatever is hidden becomes at least slightly fetishized (is that a word?). My understanding is that early on, when skirts were floor-length, ankles were quite the thing. When skirts shortened in the late teens the “forbidden” (and therefore interesting) moved up slightly to the calf . . .

    Reply
  94. Kay, I think the “boob thing” is pretty much hardwired for men. LOL! Even my gay friends state emphatically that boobs are still pretty cool even when they’re not your thing.
    I think in any era that whatever is hidden becomes at least slightly fetishized (is that a word?). My understanding is that early on, when skirts were floor-length, ankles were quite the thing. When skirts shortened in the late teens the “forbidden” (and therefore interesting) moved up slightly to the calf . . .

    Reply
  95. Kay, I think the “boob thing” is pretty much hardwired for men. LOL! Even my gay friends state emphatically that boobs are still pretty cool even when they’re not your thing.
    I think in any era that whatever is hidden becomes at least slightly fetishized (is that a word?). My understanding is that early on, when skirts were floor-length, ankles were quite the thing. When skirts shortened in the late teens the “forbidden” (and therefore interesting) moved up slightly to the calf . . .

    Reply
  96. ***and the whole medieval and modern period up to the 19th century relied on buttons and ties and sewing-in-place.***
    The earliest sanitary belt I’ve ever seen is from the 1850s and the cloth pads button on to the belt tabs. There is absolutely no reason that women of the Regency couldn’t have done this exact same thing, there’s just nothing out there to support that they did (and the reenactor in me just won’t let me support anything I can’t actually document).

    Reply
  97. ***and the whole medieval and modern period up to the 19th century relied on buttons and ties and sewing-in-place.***
    The earliest sanitary belt I’ve ever seen is from the 1850s and the cloth pads button on to the belt tabs. There is absolutely no reason that women of the Regency couldn’t have done this exact same thing, there’s just nothing out there to support that they did (and the reenactor in me just won’t let me support anything I can’t actually document).

    Reply
  98. ***and the whole medieval and modern period up to the 19th century relied on buttons and ties and sewing-in-place.***
    The earliest sanitary belt I’ve ever seen is from the 1850s and the cloth pads button on to the belt tabs. There is absolutely no reason that women of the Regency couldn’t have done this exact same thing, there’s just nothing out there to support that they did (and the reenactor in me just won’t let me support anything I can’t actually document).

    Reply
  99. ***and the whole medieval and modern period up to the 19th century relied on buttons and ties and sewing-in-place.***
    The earliest sanitary belt I’ve ever seen is from the 1850s and the cloth pads button on to the belt tabs. There is absolutely no reason that women of the Regency couldn’t have done this exact same thing, there’s just nothing out there to support that they did (and the reenactor in me just won’t let me support anything I can’t actually document).

    Reply
  100. ***and the whole medieval and modern period up to the 19th century relied on buttons and ties and sewing-in-place.***
    The earliest sanitary belt I’ve ever seen is from the 1850s and the cloth pads button on to the belt tabs. There is absolutely no reason that women of the Regency couldn’t have done this exact same thing, there’s just nothing out there to support that they did (and the reenactor in me just won’t let me support anything I can’t actually document).

    Reply
  101. Kalen, thanks once more for sharing your remarkable knowledge. The illustrations are AMAZING. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Regency clothing information presented as clearly and concisely as you have in these two posts.
    I hope you get a pair of those printed gloves some day! And at a bargain price. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  102. Kalen, thanks once more for sharing your remarkable knowledge. The illustrations are AMAZING. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Regency clothing information presented as clearly and concisely as you have in these two posts.
    I hope you get a pair of those printed gloves some day! And at a bargain price. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  103. Kalen, thanks once more for sharing your remarkable knowledge. The illustrations are AMAZING. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Regency clothing information presented as clearly and concisely as you have in these two posts.
    I hope you get a pair of those printed gloves some day! And at a bargain price. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  104. Kalen, thanks once more for sharing your remarkable knowledge. The illustrations are AMAZING. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Regency clothing information presented as clearly and concisely as you have in these two posts.
    I hope you get a pair of those printed gloves some day! And at a bargain price. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  105. Kalen, thanks once more for sharing your remarkable knowledge. The illustrations are AMAZING. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Regency clothing information presented as clearly and concisely as you have in these two posts.
    I hope you get a pair of those printed gloves some day! And at a bargain price. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  106. Hey, Mary Jo! Clothing research can be a little crazy. All those expensive books, and half of them only give you a partial view of the items, or only present about certain types, or only about whatever happens to be in a specific museum’s collection.
    Getting a “big picture” or a “cohesive” one can be a challenge, but it becomes easier after years of research and a lot of time spent making and wearing the clothes (wearing them is a whole new revelation; it would never have occurred to me that climbing a tree, or getting a book off a high shelf would be nigh on impossible for a Regency lady unless I’d put on the clothes and discovered the limitations for myself).

    Reply
  107. Hey, Mary Jo! Clothing research can be a little crazy. All those expensive books, and half of them only give you a partial view of the items, or only present about certain types, or only about whatever happens to be in a specific museum’s collection.
    Getting a “big picture” or a “cohesive” one can be a challenge, but it becomes easier after years of research and a lot of time spent making and wearing the clothes (wearing them is a whole new revelation; it would never have occurred to me that climbing a tree, or getting a book off a high shelf would be nigh on impossible for a Regency lady unless I’d put on the clothes and discovered the limitations for myself).

    Reply
  108. Hey, Mary Jo! Clothing research can be a little crazy. All those expensive books, and half of them only give you a partial view of the items, or only present about certain types, or only about whatever happens to be in a specific museum’s collection.
    Getting a “big picture” or a “cohesive” one can be a challenge, but it becomes easier after years of research and a lot of time spent making and wearing the clothes (wearing them is a whole new revelation; it would never have occurred to me that climbing a tree, or getting a book off a high shelf would be nigh on impossible for a Regency lady unless I’d put on the clothes and discovered the limitations for myself).

    Reply
  109. Hey, Mary Jo! Clothing research can be a little crazy. All those expensive books, and half of them only give you a partial view of the items, or only present about certain types, or only about whatever happens to be in a specific museum’s collection.
    Getting a “big picture” or a “cohesive” one can be a challenge, but it becomes easier after years of research and a lot of time spent making and wearing the clothes (wearing them is a whole new revelation; it would never have occurred to me that climbing a tree, or getting a book off a high shelf would be nigh on impossible for a Regency lady unless I’d put on the clothes and discovered the limitations for myself).

    Reply
  110. Hey, Mary Jo! Clothing research can be a little crazy. All those expensive books, and half of them only give you a partial view of the items, or only present about certain types, or only about whatever happens to be in a specific museum’s collection.
    Getting a “big picture” or a “cohesive” one can be a challenge, but it becomes easier after years of research and a lot of time spent making and wearing the clothes (wearing them is a whole new revelation; it would never have occurred to me that climbing a tree, or getting a book off a high shelf would be nigh on impossible for a Regency lady unless I’d put on the clothes and discovered the limitations for myself).

    Reply
  111. Kalen; I, too, congratulate you on the clarity and succinctness of your presentation of the subject. One has to know something really well to communicate it so lucidly and directly. 🙂
    I think you probably feel, as so many of us do, that the unknown facts still hovering just a little beyond our reach are the things that make the study of history so dynamic and exciting. We know that a new, amazing insight may be lurking just around the corner.
    Other people can keep those cut-and-dried subjects where everything is known and all one has to do is learn them: history is infinite. There is always something new to find out!
    😀

    Reply
  112. Kalen; I, too, congratulate you on the clarity and succinctness of your presentation of the subject. One has to know something really well to communicate it so lucidly and directly. 🙂
    I think you probably feel, as so many of us do, that the unknown facts still hovering just a little beyond our reach are the things that make the study of history so dynamic and exciting. We know that a new, amazing insight may be lurking just around the corner.
    Other people can keep those cut-and-dried subjects where everything is known and all one has to do is learn them: history is infinite. There is always something new to find out!
    😀

    Reply
  113. Kalen; I, too, congratulate you on the clarity and succinctness of your presentation of the subject. One has to know something really well to communicate it so lucidly and directly. 🙂
    I think you probably feel, as so many of us do, that the unknown facts still hovering just a little beyond our reach are the things that make the study of history so dynamic and exciting. We know that a new, amazing insight may be lurking just around the corner.
    Other people can keep those cut-and-dried subjects where everything is known and all one has to do is learn them: history is infinite. There is always something new to find out!
    😀

    Reply
  114. Kalen; I, too, congratulate you on the clarity and succinctness of your presentation of the subject. One has to know something really well to communicate it so lucidly and directly. 🙂
    I think you probably feel, as so many of us do, that the unknown facts still hovering just a little beyond our reach are the things that make the study of history so dynamic and exciting. We know that a new, amazing insight may be lurking just around the corner.
    Other people can keep those cut-and-dried subjects where everything is known and all one has to do is learn them: history is infinite. There is always something new to find out!
    😀

    Reply
  115. Kalen; I, too, congratulate you on the clarity and succinctness of your presentation of the subject. One has to know something really well to communicate it so lucidly and directly. 🙂
    I think you probably feel, as so many of us do, that the unknown facts still hovering just a little beyond our reach are the things that make the study of history so dynamic and exciting. We know that a new, amazing insight may be lurking just around the corner.
    Other people can keep those cut-and-dried subjects where everything is known and all one has to do is learn them: history is infinite. There is always something new to find out!
    😀

    Reply
  116. What a great post Kalen! It’s funny about the whole menstruation thing because I remember while watching Regency House Party, one of the women being given a belt thing to wear during her period and absolutely having a cow that she had to wear it instead of a tampon. It almost looked like some kind of weird thong thing.

    Reply
  117. What a great post Kalen! It’s funny about the whole menstruation thing because I remember while watching Regency House Party, one of the women being given a belt thing to wear during her period and absolutely having a cow that she had to wear it instead of a tampon. It almost looked like some kind of weird thong thing.

    Reply
  118. What a great post Kalen! It’s funny about the whole menstruation thing because I remember while watching Regency House Party, one of the women being given a belt thing to wear during her period and absolutely having a cow that she had to wear it instead of a tampon. It almost looked like some kind of weird thong thing.

    Reply
  119. What a great post Kalen! It’s funny about the whole menstruation thing because I remember while watching Regency House Party, one of the women being given a belt thing to wear during her period and absolutely having a cow that she had to wear it instead of a tampon. It almost looked like some kind of weird thong thing.

    Reply
  120. What a great post Kalen! It’s funny about the whole menstruation thing because I remember while watching Regency House Party, one of the women being given a belt thing to wear during her period and absolutely having a cow that she had to wear it instead of a tampon. It almost looked like some kind of weird thong thing.

    Reply
  121. Ah, REGENCY HOUSE PARTY. The “historical” show that gave the maid a Victorian corset complete with 2-part metal busk . . . I spent most of that show in a rage, spewing on and on about what a crappy hostess the “aunt” was. Not ONE SINGLE THING was planned for her female guests to do (and don’t get me started on the whole bit about a girl not being allowed to leave her room without her chaperone *roll eyes*).

    Reply
  122. Ah, REGENCY HOUSE PARTY. The “historical” show that gave the maid a Victorian corset complete with 2-part metal busk . . . I spent most of that show in a rage, spewing on and on about what a crappy hostess the “aunt” was. Not ONE SINGLE THING was planned for her female guests to do (and don’t get me started on the whole bit about a girl not being allowed to leave her room without her chaperone *roll eyes*).

    Reply
  123. Ah, REGENCY HOUSE PARTY. The “historical” show that gave the maid a Victorian corset complete with 2-part metal busk . . . I spent most of that show in a rage, spewing on and on about what a crappy hostess the “aunt” was. Not ONE SINGLE THING was planned for her female guests to do (and don’t get me started on the whole bit about a girl not being allowed to leave her room without her chaperone *roll eyes*).

    Reply
  124. Ah, REGENCY HOUSE PARTY. The “historical” show that gave the maid a Victorian corset complete with 2-part metal busk . . . I spent most of that show in a rage, spewing on and on about what a crappy hostess the “aunt” was. Not ONE SINGLE THING was planned for her female guests to do (and don’t get me started on the whole bit about a girl not being allowed to leave her room without her chaperone *roll eyes*).

    Reply
  125. Ah, REGENCY HOUSE PARTY. The “historical” show that gave the maid a Victorian corset complete with 2-part metal busk . . . I spent most of that show in a rage, spewing on and on about what a crappy hostess the “aunt” was. Not ONE SINGLE THING was planned for her female guests to do (and don’t get me started on the whole bit about a girl not being allowed to leave her room without her chaperone *roll eyes*).

    Reply
  126. ***I think you probably feel, as so many of us do, that the unknown facts still hovering just a little beyond our reach are the things that make the study of history so dynamic and exciting. We know that a new, amazing insight may be lurking just around the corner.***
    I do love this aspect of research. I get a thrill out of a new book with new facts, or a garment I’ve never seen before. I just a bout plotzed when I got one that had a KNIT petticoat c. 1812-1815 and a crocheted dress (!) c. 1815. I’d have gone to the mattresses that no such thing existed, but there it was.
    I’ve learned to say things like “most extant examples” or “the extant examples I’ve seen” or “commonly you find”, because new things crop up all the time (like the Spencer I saw last year that buttoned up the back!).

    Reply
  127. ***I think you probably feel, as so many of us do, that the unknown facts still hovering just a little beyond our reach are the things that make the study of history so dynamic and exciting. We know that a new, amazing insight may be lurking just around the corner.***
    I do love this aspect of research. I get a thrill out of a new book with new facts, or a garment I’ve never seen before. I just a bout plotzed when I got one that had a KNIT petticoat c. 1812-1815 and a crocheted dress (!) c. 1815. I’d have gone to the mattresses that no such thing existed, but there it was.
    I’ve learned to say things like “most extant examples” or “the extant examples I’ve seen” or “commonly you find”, because new things crop up all the time (like the Spencer I saw last year that buttoned up the back!).

    Reply
  128. ***I think you probably feel, as so many of us do, that the unknown facts still hovering just a little beyond our reach are the things that make the study of history so dynamic and exciting. We know that a new, amazing insight may be lurking just around the corner.***
    I do love this aspect of research. I get a thrill out of a new book with new facts, or a garment I’ve never seen before. I just a bout plotzed when I got one that had a KNIT petticoat c. 1812-1815 and a crocheted dress (!) c. 1815. I’d have gone to the mattresses that no such thing existed, but there it was.
    I’ve learned to say things like “most extant examples” or “the extant examples I’ve seen” or “commonly you find”, because new things crop up all the time (like the Spencer I saw last year that buttoned up the back!).

    Reply
  129. ***I think you probably feel, as so many of us do, that the unknown facts still hovering just a little beyond our reach are the things that make the study of history so dynamic and exciting. We know that a new, amazing insight may be lurking just around the corner.***
    I do love this aspect of research. I get a thrill out of a new book with new facts, or a garment I’ve never seen before. I just a bout plotzed when I got one that had a KNIT petticoat c. 1812-1815 and a crocheted dress (!) c. 1815. I’d have gone to the mattresses that no such thing existed, but there it was.
    I’ve learned to say things like “most extant examples” or “the extant examples I’ve seen” or “commonly you find”, because new things crop up all the time (like the Spencer I saw last year that buttoned up the back!).

    Reply
  130. ***I think you probably feel, as so many of us do, that the unknown facts still hovering just a little beyond our reach are the things that make the study of history so dynamic and exciting. We know that a new, amazing insight may be lurking just around the corner.***
    I do love this aspect of research. I get a thrill out of a new book with new facts, or a garment I’ve never seen before. I just a bout plotzed when I got one that had a KNIT petticoat c. 1812-1815 and a crocheted dress (!) c. 1815. I’d have gone to the mattresses that no such thing existed, but there it was.
    I’ve learned to say things like “most extant examples” or “the extant examples I’ve seen” or “commonly you find”, because new things crop up all the time (like the Spencer I saw last year that buttoned up the back!).

    Reply
  131. Kalen, you are a true archaeologist. Editors get so cross when we keep writing things like ‘usually, normally, generally, it is thought that, it appears that’… – but you understand WHY! Never say ‘never’ – or ‘always’. The exception is always waiting round the corner, with an evil grin, to prove us wrong!
    😀

    Reply
  132. Kalen, you are a true archaeologist. Editors get so cross when we keep writing things like ‘usually, normally, generally, it is thought that, it appears that’… – but you understand WHY! Never say ‘never’ – or ‘always’. The exception is always waiting round the corner, with an evil grin, to prove us wrong!
    😀

    Reply
  133. Kalen, you are a true archaeologist. Editors get so cross when we keep writing things like ‘usually, normally, generally, it is thought that, it appears that’… – but you understand WHY! Never say ‘never’ – or ‘always’. The exception is always waiting round the corner, with an evil grin, to prove us wrong!
    😀

    Reply
  134. Kalen, you are a true archaeologist. Editors get so cross when we keep writing things like ‘usually, normally, generally, it is thought that, it appears that’… – but you understand WHY! Never say ‘never’ – or ‘always’. The exception is always waiting round the corner, with an evil grin, to prove us wrong!
    😀

    Reply
  135. Kalen, you are a true archaeologist. Editors get so cross when we keep writing things like ‘usually, normally, generally, it is thought that, it appears that’… – but you understand WHY! Never say ‘never’ – or ‘always’. The exception is always waiting round the corner, with an evil grin, to prove us wrong!
    😀

    Reply
  136. A great blog, Kalen!
    I’ve seen some of those baby-sized corsets, tiny linen-and-whalebone tubes that look like they’d better fit a small dog.
    But as strange as they seem to us, they were seen at the time as a way of ensuring good posture and a genteel figure. Every generation of parents muddles along with the same goals for their offspring — to do What’s Right, no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.
    I remember having to wear awful StrideRite clod-hopper shoes in the 1960s to “correct” my perfectly adequate feet. And ask anyone who has a child in braces today and has paid handsomely for a “palate expander” glued to the roof of the mouth and cranked wider each night — oh, I bet those 18th century parents would be pretty horrified by that! *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  137. A great blog, Kalen!
    I’ve seen some of those baby-sized corsets, tiny linen-and-whalebone tubes that look like they’d better fit a small dog.
    But as strange as they seem to us, they were seen at the time as a way of ensuring good posture and a genteel figure. Every generation of parents muddles along with the same goals for their offspring — to do What’s Right, no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.
    I remember having to wear awful StrideRite clod-hopper shoes in the 1960s to “correct” my perfectly adequate feet. And ask anyone who has a child in braces today and has paid handsomely for a “palate expander” glued to the roof of the mouth and cranked wider each night — oh, I bet those 18th century parents would be pretty horrified by that! *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  138. A great blog, Kalen!
    I’ve seen some of those baby-sized corsets, tiny linen-and-whalebone tubes that look like they’d better fit a small dog.
    But as strange as they seem to us, they were seen at the time as a way of ensuring good posture and a genteel figure. Every generation of parents muddles along with the same goals for their offspring — to do What’s Right, no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.
    I remember having to wear awful StrideRite clod-hopper shoes in the 1960s to “correct” my perfectly adequate feet. And ask anyone who has a child in braces today and has paid handsomely for a “palate expander” glued to the roof of the mouth and cranked wider each night — oh, I bet those 18th century parents would be pretty horrified by that! *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  139. A great blog, Kalen!
    I’ve seen some of those baby-sized corsets, tiny linen-and-whalebone tubes that look like they’d better fit a small dog.
    But as strange as they seem to us, they were seen at the time as a way of ensuring good posture and a genteel figure. Every generation of parents muddles along with the same goals for their offspring — to do What’s Right, no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.
    I remember having to wear awful StrideRite clod-hopper shoes in the 1960s to “correct” my perfectly adequate feet. And ask anyone who has a child in braces today and has paid handsomely for a “palate expander” glued to the roof of the mouth and cranked wider each night — oh, I bet those 18th century parents would be pretty horrified by that! *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  140. A great blog, Kalen!
    I’ve seen some of those baby-sized corsets, tiny linen-and-whalebone tubes that look like they’d better fit a small dog.
    But as strange as they seem to us, they were seen at the time as a way of ensuring good posture and a genteel figure. Every generation of parents muddles along with the same goals for their offspring — to do What’s Right, no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.
    I remember having to wear awful StrideRite clod-hopper shoes in the 1960s to “correct” my perfectly adequate feet. And ask anyone who has a child in braces today and has paid handsomely for a “palate expander” glued to the roof of the mouth and cranked wider each night — oh, I bet those 18th century parents would be pretty horrified by that! *G*
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  141. About the knitting: I know what you mean. I was so surprised when I saw a 17th-century knitted jacket for the first time.
    There is a picture of one on the V&A website, though unfortunately not very clear.
    http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/knitting/objects/object.php?action=&id=6&id2=0&hits=&page=&pages=&object_type=&country=&start_year=&end_year=&object=&artist=
    But of course, if you can knit stockings, and very fine ones at that, you can knit anything you want. And the stocking frame was invented in the 16th century.
    Again, a very interesting post. I enjoyed it.

    Reply
  142. About the knitting: I know what you mean. I was so surprised when I saw a 17th-century knitted jacket for the first time.
    There is a picture of one on the V&A website, though unfortunately not very clear.
    http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/knitting/objects/object.php?action=&id=6&id2=0&hits=&page=&pages=&object_type=&country=&start_year=&end_year=&object=&artist=
    But of course, if you can knit stockings, and very fine ones at that, you can knit anything you want. And the stocking frame was invented in the 16th century.
    Again, a very interesting post. I enjoyed it.

    Reply
  143. About the knitting: I know what you mean. I was so surprised when I saw a 17th-century knitted jacket for the first time.
    There is a picture of one on the V&A website, though unfortunately not very clear.
    http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/knitting/objects/object.php?action=&id=6&id2=0&hits=&page=&pages=&object_type=&country=&start_year=&end_year=&object=&artist=
    But of course, if you can knit stockings, and very fine ones at that, you can knit anything you want. And the stocking frame was invented in the 16th century.
    Again, a very interesting post. I enjoyed it.

    Reply
  144. About the knitting: I know what you mean. I was so surprised when I saw a 17th-century knitted jacket for the first time.
    There is a picture of one on the V&A website, though unfortunately not very clear.
    http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/knitting/objects/object.php?action=&id=6&id2=0&hits=&page=&pages=&object_type=&country=&start_year=&end_year=&object=&artist=
    But of course, if you can knit stockings, and very fine ones at that, you can knit anything you want. And the stocking frame was invented in the 16th century.
    Again, a very interesting post. I enjoyed it.

    Reply
  145. About the knitting: I know what you mean. I was so surprised when I saw a 17th-century knitted jacket for the first time.
    There is a picture of one on the V&A website, though unfortunately not very clear.
    http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/fashion/knitting/objects/object.php?action=&id=6&id2=0&hits=&page=&pages=&object_type=&country=&start_year=&end_year=&object=&artist=
    But of course, if you can knit stockings, and very fine ones at that, you can knit anything you want. And the stocking frame was invented in the 16th century.
    Again, a very interesting post. I enjoyed it.

    Reply
  146. Anyone who wants to grow healthy plants should know that location is one of the most important factors that governs successful growth of plants. Most people buy a plant, go out into the garden, dig a hole somewhere, and place the plant in the soil: and when the plant fails to grow, they blame the nursery or soil. Site selection is vital if you want your plants to grow and thrive. Choosing the best site can save a lot of frustration and headaches.

    Reply
  147. Anyone who wants to grow healthy plants should know that location is one of the most important factors that governs successful growth of plants. Most people buy a plant, go out into the garden, dig a hole somewhere, and place the plant in the soil: and when the plant fails to grow, they blame the nursery or soil. Site selection is vital if you want your plants to grow and thrive. Choosing the best site can save a lot of frustration and headaches.

    Reply
  148. Anyone who wants to grow healthy plants should know that location is one of the most important factors that governs successful growth of plants. Most people buy a plant, go out into the garden, dig a hole somewhere, and place the plant in the soil: and when the plant fails to grow, they blame the nursery or soil. Site selection is vital if you want your plants to grow and thrive. Choosing the best site can save a lot of frustration and headaches.

    Reply
  149. Anyone who wants to grow healthy plants should know that location is one of the most important factors that governs successful growth of plants. Most people buy a plant, go out into the garden, dig a hole somewhere, and place the plant in the soil: and when the plant fails to grow, they blame the nursery or soil. Site selection is vital if you want your plants to grow and thrive. Choosing the best site can save a lot of frustration and headaches.

    Reply
  150. Anyone who wants to grow healthy plants should know that location is one of the most important factors that governs successful growth of plants. Most people buy a plant, go out into the garden, dig a hole somewhere, and place the plant in the soil: and when the plant fails to grow, they blame the nursery or soil. Site selection is vital if you want your plants to grow and thrive. Choosing the best site can save a lot of frustration and headaches.

    Reply
  151. But as strange as they seem to us, they were seen at the time as a way of ensuring good posture and a genteel figure. Every generation of parents muddles along with the same goals for their offspring — to do What’s Right, no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.

    Reply
  152. But as strange as they seem to us, they were seen at the time as a way of ensuring good posture and a genteel figure. Every generation of parents muddles along with the same goals for their offspring — to do What’s Right, no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.

    Reply
  153. But as strange as they seem to us, they were seen at the time as a way of ensuring good posture and a genteel figure. Every generation of parents muddles along with the same goals for their offspring — to do What’s Right, no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.

    Reply
  154. But as strange as they seem to us, they were seen at the time as a way of ensuring good posture and a genteel figure. Every generation of parents muddles along with the same goals for their offspring — to do What’s Right, no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.

    Reply
  155. But as strange as they seem to us, they were seen at the time as a way of ensuring good posture and a genteel figure. Every generation of parents muddles along with the same goals for their offspring — to do What’s Right, no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.

    Reply

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