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.


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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  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!!

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

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

  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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