February 28th, 2012

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

Victorian fashionChildren all like to play dress-up.   When I was little, my best friend and I would put on old prom dresses and take turns wearing her grandmother’s old, heavy rabbit fur coat. The coat started out white, but slowly turned a lovely, soft gray.   We would then parade around our neighborhood in our sparkling dresses and coat. This took great dedication on our part because Minnesota was hot in the summer, but even 90 degree weather didn’t deter us.

As I got older, I dreamed of living in a different era.  For some reason, castle life in Medieval England appealed to me.  I guess I had that old “princess” thing going on (though more likely I would have been a serf).  Only later did I come to understand the demands of fashion (especially for women) and how fortunate I was to be born in the 20th century.   Ladies, we’ve come a long way from wimples, 18” waists, corsets, crinoline petticoats and wool bathing suits.  We might still like to dress up, but not many of us want to spend our days like a Victorian miss in layers of clothing with no air conditioning!

Celebrate Women’s History Month and join us for the Under the Skirts Tour of the Civil War on Saturday, March 3 at 2pm as we literally go under the skirts of a proper Victorian lady.  Karen Jesse and Rosanna Hart will present a live dressing (from the pantaloons on up) of what the fashionable Victorian miss would have worn.

What’s your favorite aspect of fashion from years gone by? And your least favorite?




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