Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Break it Down Now: The Layers of my Summer Outfit / Inspiration

Hello Everyone!

Philip thought it would be fun to show all the layers of the Victorian outfit I wore to the Handcar Regatta a few weeks ago.
The ensemble falls somewhere between “costume” and “historical clothing” because it consists of many pieces worn from the skin out.   For me, all the layers provide the look, fit and feel of wearing clothes from another time.  The biggest surprise was just how comfortable I was in the hot sun with all these clothes…Honestly, it was not bad at all.....cotton RULES!

This particular outfit took me a little over a year to put together.…and I still need a freakin’ purse!
The coordination (color, look, feel) of this outfit was inspired by some of my favorite things.....the opening scenes in the movie “Tombstone” and a painting by James Jacques Joseph Tissot. 
(more to come on those subjects later!)
Inspiration: The Earp brothers and their wives, from “Tombstone”
Inspiration: A close-up from “The Garden Bench” by James Jacques Joseph Tissot
Historically, this fashion is known as “Natural Form” and was a transitional look between the post –hoop/early bustle and the late Victorian “shelf” bustle.  Approx 1878-1883….give or take a few years to compensate for Europe-to-America communication speed.
Layer 1:  The Underwear ~ This boned corset and petticoat with ruffles & pintucks provide the correct silhouette for this circa 1880 outfit.  Under the corset and petti is a cotton camisole, drawers, and yet another petticoat that is thinner/shorter.  The extra petticoat underneath is essential, as it keeps all the ruffles from swimming between my legs when I walk, lol!

Layer 2:  The Underdress ~A.K.A. “The Dirtcatchers”  ~ Cotton muslin vest functions as a “corset cover” and protects both the overdress and corset from sweat / dirt / God knows what.  The underskirt has a small train which is held into “poufs” down the back with a series of ties.  Both items are easy to wash (and washed often, lol!)  My apologies for looking a little worse for wear in these was a long, hot sweaty day, and I had serious hat hair!

Layer 3:  The Overdress ~ An open-front dress known as a “Polonaise”.  Striped calico cotton with eyelet ruffle trim, brass buttons, and petersham ribbons.  This overdress is un-boned and fitted, but not tight.  All the layers underneath make the dress sit & drape perfectly.  This is a “no bustle” style.... however, all the fullness is still distributed toward the back for a bustle-y / tied back look.

Kathleen -In Oakland

1 comment:

  1. Just confirms my thoughts on the poor women of the day during the summer. But the dress presents itself just so pretty once all is together. Absolutely, lovely...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...