OBSERVATIONS: WIDTH OF A WOMAN’S SKIRT
The humor in this columnist’s observations taught me plenty about a man’s attitude regarding the width of women’s skirts, comparing the tight fit of the day’s fashions to the wrapping of a mummy or a soaked bathing suit clinging to the unfortunate woman’s form. He infers that the pursuit of fashion is so all-important that the wearers sacrifice comfort, modesty, safety, decency, the capacity to go anywhere by both carriage or the power of one’s own two feet. The Victorian humor in this brief piece published in 1875 is evident!
Note the writer’s final sentence:
“When fashion pushes the matter to that extremity we trust that respectable women will assume trousers at once, and so preserve some of their modesty while they increase their powers of locomotion.”
Victorian American dry humor at its finest.
TWO OF THEM ABREAST MADE THE PAVEMENT IMPASSABLE
Just like women’s styles change today, skirt fashions changed through the decades of the Victorian era.
Sometimes (think Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind) skirts were enormous bell-shaped wonders constructed of extreme yardages of fabric over gigantic hoop skirts.
THE LIMIT OF PROPRIETY HAS BEEN REACHED
During the bustle-era of the 1870s and 1880s, skirts became quite narrow. These narrow skirts hampered movement, not unlike pencil skirts do in business suits of today (particularly if not made of stretchy fabric). This green dress may be like a pencil skirt, but the style is also called a sheath because it fits so precisely. The style is gorgeous on the right figure but far from comfortable to wear.
THE AVERAGE WOMAN WHO HAS ON HER LATEST DRESS CANNOT SIT DOWN WITHOUT SUFFERING
19th Century Earrings: Fact or Fiction? Street Car Etiquette (1889)–on Sweet Americana Sweethearts How Did Victorian Stockings Stay Up? Victorian Ladies Underwear 19th Century Bathing Costumes from Harper’s Bazaar Victorians at the Seashore Stetson’s Boss of the Plains vs the Bowler
Copyright © 2016 Kristin Holt LC