Victorian Americans wore ingenious devices beneath their clothing to hold their stockings (hose) up. Because garters / hose supporters aren’t as romantic and enticing as corsets or even Union Suits, I’ve yet to see a fictional piece of the era that so much as mentions them. This article contains images of items offered for sale in the 1895 and 1897 editions of the Sears Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalogs, as well as price comparisons from then to now. Such contraptions were worn by men, women, children, and even babies. Who knew?
American women in the late Victorian Era often cut and curled bangs at the forehead. Many photographs (cabinet cards) show this hairstyle, with the rest being upswept and pinned, as women grew their hair to amazing lengths–all except those stylish bangs. If the curls about the forehead were not a hair piece (purchased by mail), then they most often required a curl. Victorian curling irons (their prices, designs, and heating methods) might surprise you–after all, it’s not (only) like Laura Ingalls Wilder described in her fictionalized memoirs of coming of age and cutting her hair in this style.
I’ve read books where the intrepid hero has to reuse brown paper the mercantile owner used to wrap a purchase in order to leave the heroine an all-important note. I read another novel where a would-be bride’s employer deducted the cost of paper and envelope from her wages. Was paper that expensive? Did expense translate to scarcity?