When you have nothing to wear….

How many times have we looked into our closet searching for the right outfit to wear and finding nothing that will work?  Too many times?  Of course, I am sure that we all have more than enough clothes, however there comes a time in all our lives when we honestly do feel that our closet has reached it’s current full potential and is in desperate need of an overhaul, or at least a little refresher.  So we scour magazines for new ideas, browse store ads for the best deals, and navigate the often dangerous zone of dressing rooms with three-way mirrors.  Our reward?  A hopefully perfect new ensemble that will, or so we think, go with everything in our already full closets, and we won’t need to buy anything for quite a while…maybe.  😉

And for those ladies in the days before ready-made clothing, I am sure the process was very similar, if not a bit more spread out.  The same search through fashion books for new ideas, working out a deal for the perfect yardage of fabric, and praying that your eyes won’t get too cross-eyed as you work tirelessly to complete your new gown!

And for any of you modern-day ladies who are looking for your next perfect reenactment ensemble, may I offer you these beautiful 1840’s fashion plate examples!




Happy Monday!


Here Comes the Bride….

Finding the right wedding gown has been a journey for women since the evolution of wearing your best dress to an all white one.  I found these beautiful and unique examples online and thought, given the right neckline they could even work today!

plate08aSmall1-829x1024 Read More

Fit for a Queen…

I discovered these three pictures of a gown that was given as a gift to Queen Victoria around 1850, and is currently in the process of being prepped for display!

In addition to the delicious sheerness, I love the embroidery along the front and bottom of the skirt.  I am surprised that there isn’t a matching design on the bodice, but that’s just me!  Notice the clean, simple lines and the extravagance of the lace along the neckline and the sleeves.  Drooling!!  I also like that you get a real sense of the height and size of Queen Victoria compared to the other women who are adjusting and fixing the gown.   Barely standing at 5′, Queen Victoria was very petite, and I’m sure, quite stunning in this gown!

Kensingtion Palace HRP

Kensingtion Palace HRP

Kensingtion Palace HRP

Source: http://historicroyalpalaces.tumblr.com

And of course, we must always end with fashion….

So this week we have ogled over cozy 1840’s cottages, learned various ways to keep one’s body trim and toned, that now it is only fitting to end with the most loveliest examples of 1840’s beauty.  These two paintings were taken from a 1848 Godey’s Book and I’m sure are the 19th century equivalent to “cover girls.”  Possessing all the most desirable qualities of the 1840’s woman, these beautiful drawings, I’m sure, inspired many young women.  From attempting to recreate those glossy ringlets, to decorating their gowns just so, these examples must have been pored over with the same intensity that women of today have scrolling through numerous Pinterest boards searching for their next “date night” outfit.  But as my grandmother used to say “the insides must always match the outsides”… so lets hope that these young women were as beautiful to interact with as they were to look at!

Happy weekend everyone!


Exercising the 1840’s way….

Having a svelte figure seems to be a quest that many women over the centuries have embraced.  While I may not enjoy running for miles on end, I do appreciate the value of exercising and trying to stay flexible….but maybe not in a corset!  Lives for women in the 21st century are similar in many ways to women’s lives in the 19th.  While women today have broader access to careers and other areas of society, the desire to take care of a family and maintain a seemingly put-together appearance hasn’t changed all that much.  Even now I am trying to put this post together in between cleaning up after-dinner dishes, fixing lunches, and trying to remember the laundry that is going to buzz in the dryer.    Yet even after all the seemingly endless activities of the day are through, I will still pull out my yoga mat for a few relaxing stretches…you know, to make sure I can fit into my skinny jeans just that much better!

Enjoy these little historical gems!






Oh…there goes the dryer!!….

The Model Cottage: 1840

I have decided to dedicate this week to the 1840’s, with all blog posts relating in some way to this wonderful decade!

To start?……Constructing the ideal 1840’s cottage.  I found these examples from several 1840’s Godey’s Books and am pleasantly surprised at how our decorating magazines of today create this same setup on their pages.  What I especially enjoy about these examples are the extra rooms described and the assumption of the author that the majority of their readers could afford such a home!  Pay close attention to any descriptions of bathrooms…..:-)




Breaking the Mold!

I came across this photograph of a young girl from the mid 1850’s….and am so surprised at her outfit!  Just goes to show that there are always exceptions to the rules!  Wonder what she thought of her “surprised look” after she picked this photo up from the studio? 🙂


The Roaring 20’s….1820’s that is!

I have been trying lately to expand my focus and appreciation for all 19th century gowns.  While I used to not thoroughly enjoy the large mutton sleeve of the 1820’s, I was surprised at how the simplicity of the gowns began to appeal to me.  While it may not be my favorite decade, the uniqueness of the large sleeve paired with the shorter skirt can’t be denied.  I found a few of my favorite styles…and since the Regency Era was just ending, I love seeing the transition occur with these gowns!