1. 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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. 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...
  13. JPK Huson 1863

    Dr. Harriet Austin's Prescription, Ladies, Ride Like A Man

    A huge part of allure for ladies riding was the ' costume ', heavily advertised in ladies' magazines, an ultra feminine concoction whose flowing skirts, foaming lace and stylish hat betokened one's cutting edge fashion sense. And one's acceptance of social norms. Dr. Harriet Austin was an era...
  14. JPK Huson 1863

    It's Fashion Week! A CWT Wartime Runway, Yours?

    Sarah Jane Hale vied with Mme. Demorest as the American vanguards presenting the very latest fashions in their magazines, " Godey's Lady's Book " and " Madam Demorest's Mirror Of Fashion " Included in the mode would necessarily have been mourning attire, albeit unobtrusive- it was fashionable...
  15. JPK Huson 1863

    Oh You Great, Big Beautiful ( Paper ) Doll, Ancestor Play

    Cutout dolls were made of famous figures, these being outfits worn by an uber famous dancer of the 1830's, ' Taglioni '. Story book figures seem popular by the 1860's as were famous men and women in American history- George and Martha were cut out, dressed and you just know played with to...
  16. Belle Montgomery

    Photos of Victorian Women by Mathew Brady From The 1860's- Dress/Hair Styles Galore!

    A few may be from the 70's but heh...these women lived during the war! … and now the actresses!
  17. Belle Montgomery

    Wearing a 19th-Century Mourning Veil/Crape Could Result in Death!

    Illustration depicting a widow mourning at a graveside. Illustrated by George John Pinwell. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images Wearing a 19th-Century Mourning Veil Could Result in — Twist — Death Grieving for a loved one sometimes caused rashes, irritation, and one’s own...
  18. JPK Huson 1863

    Godey's Lady's Book, From Fluff To Hope; Our Children

    We, women of America may do more to promote the real greatness...... of our country " Sarah Jane Hale, Godey's Lady's Book, 1862 She was speaking, in this article, of The Children, dressed here as fashion statements but presented by Godey's as symbols of our greatest hope in the future. We...
  19. JPK Huson 1863

    Hoop Skirts' Contentious Past; How Big WERE Those Things?

    " Curious effect produced by a fashionable lady, walking down the aisle at church ", caption. Men put their hats, brim up, next to their pews, Sundays during church. Swept away by wide skirts, another guy has had enough. No one is attacking this iconic image, or what it represents to anyone...
  20. Belle Montgomery

    Ladies fashion "Balmoral" boots -another 1860's option

    Stumbled on this tonight...enjoy ladies:

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