Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bustles & Hot Air Balloons

I've been researching "dress code" - or rather dress styles of the late 1800's - the period in which my book is set. All I can say is, "WERE THEY CRAZY?"

I know beauty is ... important. But seriously. The bustles they attached to their behinds sometimes stuck out as much as two feet. TWO FEET? Of course, I don't need a bustle to accomplish that effect, mine's natural. Apparently large appendages strapped to the back in 1885 was ... beautiful. Just give me some extra yards of fabric and I can fake a bustle just fine. But I least I can sit on my "bustle". I have yet to figure out how the ladies of the day SAT. Except for the specially designed, backless chairs.

And layers. Let's talk layers. Layers of today equals a cami, covered by a blouse or tee, and maybe a light sweater. Unless you're my friend ... she knows who she is ... who wears a total of NO LESS than 6 camis layered because she gets cold. Can I just say, my dear sweetie, BUY A SWEATSHIRT? :) The layers of yesteryear had enough material in them to make a hot hair balloon - and trust me, with those bustles some of them looked like they were trying.  Skirt, skirt lining, petticoat 1, 2, and 3, camisole, and let's not forget the suck-me-in-til-I-can't-breath corset. I'm wondering how they survived in the summer. It wasn't like they could stick an electric fan up their skirts for air movement. I would have been the shocking lady of the day - I would have ripped off my bustle ... wait... never mind, mine is natural, I forgot ... well, I would've ripped off about 6 layers and run around in my camisole rather die a slow death of heat exhaustion in exchange for beauty that my great-great-granddaughter would one day think was reedunkulous.

I wonder what we wear now that my great-great granddaughter will scoff at?

But it is still a fun research project ... needless to say, I will not be rushing out to make hot air balloons anytime soon.


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Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

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6 comments:

  1. Never mind how did they ever go to the bathroom and do what needed to be done. They sure couldn't wait until the last minute, LOL!!

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  2. Not to mention the chemise and the corset cover. :) I'd have expired from the heat.

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    1. I wonder if they had battery operated fans? ;)

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  3. Hmm, not sure what fashions today would be totally wacky come 100 years from now. Actually, I'm so not into fashion I couldn't even tell you what today's fashions are. LOL (give me jeans, t-shirt, and camo jacket)
    Love this post. I'd have died of heat exhaustion.

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