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  1. JPK Huson 1863

    Crinoline - Fashion To Die For, And They Did

    From 1856, one of the earliest cartoons I can find where someone stuck a pen into the ' new ' fashion. By the time crinoline became obsolete there would be a lot more. Because the war years fall smack in the middle of the hoop skirt/crinoline fashion craze images of bell shaped women are almost...
  2. Belle Montgomery

    Fashion Show

    If anyone missed I posted pics with about 20 different style dresses/hoopskirts from the Zoar Reenactment this past weekend. Lots of lovely styles to view. I wished I could've got all of them but the venue was too huge (throughout the entire town) and I was stationary most of the time. Was not...
  3. JPK Huson 1863

    Arsenic And Lead And Paste, Oh My! The Dead(ly) White Fashion Extreme Of " Enameling "

    Currier and Ives produced a long, long series depicting era ideas of beautiful women. " Elizabeth ", " Emily ", " Georgiana ", may have been the era pin ups. For some reason the one aspect in common all these fictional women share is white 'n pink 'n really, really white skin. If you saw anyone...
  4. JPK Huson 1863

    Solving Time's Puzzlers, Dating Photographs

    It was pretty darn easy tracking down the date of this image. It was helpful ID-ing which of JPK's sisters and the fact this was probably a portrait taken at the time of her marriage. Middle part and hair carefully covering her eras, a micro-mosaic pin and the beginnings of a fashion rage...
  5. JPK Huson 1863

    Bloomers And Corsets And Hats ( And Garters, Stockings, Fans, Sontags, Scarves, Shoes... ) Oh My!

    Ever live in an old house? The one we lived in when I was kid had one, teeny closet per bedroom. In 2019 we're all the way up to walk-in closets to store the comparatively miniscule amount of clothing typically worn in a day. It takes around 5 minutes toil to cover oneself adequately before...
  6. JPK Huson 1863

    Corpse Hair And Arsenic, A Trip To Your Enameling Studio

    Your enameling studio, this one Broadway, NYC, was where you would be, well, enameled. Aptly named, the process began with a kind of paste slathered over one's fair, white chest and face, ensuring they were even whiter. For a higher fee you could get two unwashed weeks out of a good enameling...
  7. JPK Huson 1863

    " Beauty Itself Doth Itself Portray ", Our Ancestors' More Do-able Ideal

    Currier and Ives did and endless series of prints where fictional women were presented as ideals, this one entitled " Phoebe ". That 1860's neckline vanished along with the hoops just a few years later. The famous post war bustle drew attention elsewhere and er, larger parts of one's anatomy...
  8. JPK Huson 1863

    Our Greatest Indulgence And Estrogen Fest, An Era Tribute To Hair ( Warning, Men May Experience Vertigo )

    There's a reason we fall into nostalgic raptures over images where belles floated to balls and rose-bedecked young women blushed. They're just so gosh darn pretty. Unabashedly pretty and were 150 years ago. Like this image, most were representative of a desire to express something. Not politics...
  9. Belle Montgomery

    Armpit Pads, Petticoats, and Porcelain: How Stylish Dolls Taught Girls to Be Victorian Women

    Before Barbie, who could become anything from a dedicated nurse to a Malibu socialite with the change of an outfit and a thousand accessories, there were the elegant and fragile “fashion dolls” bestowed upon wealthy little girls in the 1860s and 1870s. Frequently made of bisque ceramic and...
  10. JPK Huson 1863

    Corsets, Hoops, Stomachers And Other Weaponry, Our Ancestors' Unfortunate Fashion Addictions

    We girls are nothing if not consistent. A love affair with fashion permeates girl history. For more centuries than we should admit to we've fainted, caught fire, been hit by lightening, nursed bruised toes, cracked ribs and displaced organs- for fashion. Those floating hoopskirts, dainty waists...
  11. JPK Huson 1863

    Girl Talk, Or, Our Bilingual Ancestors

    " You're shaking like a blancmange my dear creepmouse. I assure you, passementerie tassles on that dress would put you in a bad box. You can't gammon me your new husband isn't a banging big-bug. I don't see him cutting his stick before the ceremony at sight of you, with or without...
  12. Belle Montgomery

    Blondes Didn't "Have More Fun"

    Throughout most of the nineteenth century, pale-skinned brunette women were considered the standard of beauty, it was more fashionable to have a head full of dark brown hair judging from the lack of blondes in the era's fashion plates. It was only after the Civil War that blonde very slowly...
  13. JPK Huson 1863

    So How Prudish Were We, Really? Cupids Notwithstanding, A Genuine Question

    Eternally clad in white, playing with cupids and adorned with flowers this image of feminine purity permeates our 2019 ideas about expectations of women in the era. Maybe take another look, without cupids getting underfoot. From naked table legs to some kicking necklines, this Godey's image...
  14. Belle Montgomery

    Gimme a head with hair! Long beautiful hair! -But is the provocative 1870 pic a "lady of the evening?" What do you think?

    In the Victorian era, a Western woman's hair was considered an important part of her appearance. On both sides of the Atlantic, it marked her status and her femininity. An important rite of passage for an adolescent girl during this time was the moment she began to wear her hair up. Previously...
  15. Eleanor Rose

    Baby It's Cold Outside!

    There’s getting to be a slight chill in the air so it got me thinking about how my Victorian friends might have dressed to keep warm when they were outside. We’ve all seen pictures of women’s gowns with wide puffy sleeves. The sleeves were so big that they could not fit into the sleeve of a...
  16. Eleanor Rose

    Victorian High Fashion or Hot Mess?

    I always enjoy viewing beautiful Victorian dresses on display in museums. Since it has been a rainy and chilly day in my neck of the woods, I decided to spend my afternoon taking a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On my "visit" I discovered that not every Victorian dress was...
  17. Eleanor Rose

    I Simply Don't Have A Thing To Wear!

    Alva Vanderbilt as a Venetian princess in 1883 (Messy Nessy Chic) In March of 1883, Alva Vanderbilt hosted one of the most lavish costume parties of the Gilded Age. New York Society members on her exclusive guest list dreamed up eccentric garb. Alva came dressed as a Venetian princess and a...
  18. JPK Huson 1863

    Ladies, Tresses, Up-Doos And Locks, The Short Story

    One of around a gazillion era illustrations from popular periodicals, The PerfectWoman typically was romanticized- with an awful lot of long Perfect Hair. Hair! We loved our hair, ornamented, plaited, ringletted, ( it's a word.... ), snooded, piled and coifed- not happy with that we made...
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!