Tag Archives: Photography

Fashion Moments – Bifurcated Skirt

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the bifurcated skirt, a cousin to the bloomer.

Bifurcated Skirt

Bifurcated skirts were different from bloomers although they served the same purpose, allowing women more freedom of movement during athletic endeavors such as bicycling or horseback riding. While bloomers looked like baggy pants which ended typically below the knee, bifurcated skirts were pants constructed to maintain the illusion that they were still a skirt. The terms bifurcated skirt and bloomer were often used interchangeably, especially during the 1890s, when both became popular.

Gallery

A rare cycling suit owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The front panel can be buttoned across the front to cover the leg split so the garment looks like a skirt, or it can be folded over and buttoned to allow the legs to be separated during cycling. The fullness in the back obscures the split between the legs.

Various patents were filed in the 1890s for bifurcated skirts. The illustrations below are a few among dozens. The patent holders were all women.

A cowgirl in Montana wears a bifurcated skirt while riding her horse.

Montana Girl

 

Further Reading

In an April 1892 article from the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. H. Augustus Wilson recommended for his patients with lateral curvature of the spine to continue horseback riding as a form of exercise. Because his female patients were no longer able to ride side saddle, he instructed them to continue riding astride while wearing bifurcated skirts. The article can be found in volume 18, no. 14, p. 409-412.

In the article “She Rides Like A Man” from the Indianapolis News, dated 29 March 1890, Mabel Jenness fought for the abolishment of the side saddle. She proposed that women should ride astride while wearing bifurcated skirts. If you have access to Pinterest and Newspaper.com, I have clipped the article.

A women’s tailoring book from 1897, Superlative Systems of Cutting Ladies’ Garments by Charles J. Stone, included several patterns for riding and cycling skirts. The book can be found at Internet Archive and is available for download.

Images

Cycling Suit, 1896-1898. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no.: 2009.300.532a–d

Various bifurcated skirt patent illustrations from the 1890s. These images came specifically from Ancestry.com’s database “U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patents, 1790-1909.

Montana Girl, c1909. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-72483

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/10/18/fashion-moments-bifurcated-skirt/

Fashion Moments – Bloomers

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the infamous pants known as Bloomers.

Bloomers

Bloomer CostumeThere are two phases of the bloomer style pant adopted by women in the nineteenth century. The first hit the fashion world in 1851, a few years after the women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls. Dress reform, or the rational dress movement, was another objective in the early days of the women’s rights movement. Amelia Bloomer wrote in her publication The Lily:

The costume of women should be suited to her wants and necessities. It should conduce at once to her health, comfort and usefulness; and, while it should not fail also to conduce her personal adornment, it should make that end of secondary importance.

Amelia Bloomer’s friend, Libby Miller, adopted a style of long pants covered with a short skirt in 1851. Because Amelia promoted the pants in her magazine, the style became known as “Bloomers.” And, of course, they were promptly ridiculed by the leading newspapers. This style lasted through the end of the decade, until the rise of the crinoline made it obsolete (at least for Amelia Bloomer). However, it is important to note that during the Civil War, some nurses wore bloomers for their practicality on the battlefields and in field hospitals. The more ardent dress reformers continued to wear the fashion through the 1860s.

A_poser_for_a_bloomer_John_Johnson_political_&_satirical

A politial cartoon mocking the bloomers, 1852

by Joseph B. Forster, albumen carte-de-visite, 1860s-1870s

Mary Edwards Walker, c1866

Bloomers and Bicycles

The second phase, or rebirth of the bloomers, developed with the invention of the bicycle. Cycling became increasingly popular for both sexes, reaching its peak in the 1890s. However, women’s long skirts were too dangerous to wear while riding. The dress reformers won a huge victory in their quest for rational clothing (although they still received a lot of grumbling from the press). Bloomers became the practical mode of dress for women cyclists, and they were later adapted for other athletic activities.

The Bicyle - The Great Dress Reformer of the Nineteenth Century

Gallery

Further Reading

The British Library offers many digital items online, including the Romantics and Victorians collection. A portion of a copy of the Rational Dress Society Gazette is available.

“Women on the Move: Cycling and the Rational Dress Movement” by Aaron Cripps. Posted on his blog, Cycling History, 30 January 2015.

From their website, “Bikes & Bloomers is a research project about the bike, bloomer and female cyclist in late nineteenth century Britain.” This site is fabulous! It contains a wealth of information on the history of nineteenth century women, their clothing and their bicycles. Necessity is definitely the mother of invention.

“Women on Wheels: The Bicycle and the Women’s Movement of the 1890s,” from the Annie Londonderry website by Peter Zheutlin.

Women in Pants: Manly Maidens, Cowgirls, and Other Renegades, by Catherine Smith and Cynthia Grieg. Published by Harry N. Abrams, 2003. Book is currently out of print.

“What Shall the New Woman Wear, Skirts or Bloomers?” Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, California) 15 September 1895, p. 14. If you have access of Newspapers.com, you will be able to read this article. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/522276888015710090/

Images

“The Bloomer Costume.” Currier & Ives print, 1851. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection. Reproduction no.: LC-USZC2-1978

“A Poser for a Bloomer,” Political cartoon circa 1852. John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera. Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. Image from Wikipedia under a Creative Commons License.

Mary Edwards Walker, 1866. Photograph by Joseph B. Forster. National Portrait Gallery, London.

“The Bicycle – the great dress reformer of the nineteenth century.” Samuel D. Ehrhart. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection. Reproduction no.: LC-DIG-ppmsca-29031

“The Start,” 1897. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection. Reproduction no.: LC-USZ62-93792

Gym Suit, 1893-1898. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no.: 2009.300.884a–f

©2015 Deborah Sweeney

Fashion Moments – Cuirasse Bodice

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the Cuirasse bodice. (I mentioned this style briefly in my bustle post.)

Cuirasse Bodice

The cuirasse bodice came into fashion in the mid 1870s and continued into the early 1880s. The bodice takes its name from the cuirass, a piece of close fitting defensive armor worn over the torso or chest. The resulting nineteenth century garment was tightly fitted and required corsets and additional boning to create the effect. A defining characteristic of the bodice is its extension below the natural waistline, often over the hips and sometimes even lower. Because the hips were so fitted, skirts were forced to became narrower (in contrast to the wider bustles and hoops earlier in the decade). In fact, the bustle almost entirely disappeared during the years 1875-1883, with extensive drapery coming to the forefront of fashion.  It was during this period that the longer “princess” seam came into prominence.

Gallery

Further Reading

Google Books has limited viewing of Alison Gernsheim’s Victorian and Edwardian Fashion: A Photographic Survey. There are several great examples of cuirasse bodices. See particularly plates 109,  121, 123, 126, 127, and 129.

Newspaper article “The Cuirasse Bodice” from the Otago Witness (Otago, New Zealand), 26 December 1874, p. 21, from the Papers Past website, the National Library of New Zealand.

Good overview of the fashion changes from 1870-1883, from the History of Fashion and Dress, by Susan Jarrett, M.ED.

Images

Wedding dress, 1879 (Brown silk with gold accents), Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession number: 2009.300.3017

Afternoon ensemble, 1878-1882 (Grey silk with fringe trim), Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession number: 2009.300.87a–c

Dress, 1878-1879 (Cream silk with asymmetrical drape), The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession number: C.I.45.38.1a, b

Digital Collection, Thomas J. Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Women 1879, plates 073, 020, 036

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/09/20/fashion-moments-cuirasse-bodice/

Fashion Moments – Bolero & Zouave Jackets

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the Bolero and Zouave jackets.

The Jackets

A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion: Historic and Modern describes the Bolero jacket as a “short jacket no longer than normal waistline, with or without sleeves. Worn open in front over bodice or blouse. Spanish in origin.” In comparison, the Zouave jacket is described as a “woman’s short jacket with rounded front, made in imitation of [the] jacket of [the] Zouave uniform. Sometimes sleeveless.” The descriptions of the two types of jackets are quite similar. For this post it is not important to know the subtle differences between the two styles but rather that the style of jacket was popular during the Civil War years. One of the reasons behind the popularity was the use of a Zouave style jacket in many volunteer units.  The French Zouaves were an elite military force during the nineteenth century.  Because the Civil War was an overwhelming influence on the lives of all Americans (including women), ladies’ fashion adopted some military characteristics, including the use of a Zouave style jacket. While the construction of the garment could be quite simple, existing examples of these garments show extensive embroidery and trimmings.

Many of the popular ladies’ magazines published fashion plates and patterns for Zouave jackets. Godey’s Lady’s magazine published many versions of the jacket, including this early one from 1859. Below are some plates and patterns from other periodicals of the day.

The Library of Congress’ collection of Prints and Photographs has many examples of Zouave jackets, including these two photographs from between 1860-1865.

Further Reading

Costume historian and technician, Quinn M. Burgess, wrote an excellent piece on her website about the Bolero and Zouave jackets.

Brief article from the Smithsonian on the influence of the Zouave on Union and Confederate uniforms.

The Newberry Library and the Terra Foundation have an online exhibit “Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North.” They briefly discuss the Zouave soldiers in the Civil War and their influence on fashion.

While searching for additional images, I came across an online exhibit from the University of Maryland titled “Woman on the Border: Maryland Perspectives of the Civil War.

Images

Reddish brown silk dress, American, 1860-1865. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no: C.I.50.105.16a, b

White with black embroidery promenade dress, American, 1862-1864. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no: C.I.60.6.11a, b

Yellow pattern silk dress with green trim, French, 1862. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no: 1973.244.1a–c

Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Women 1860-1861, plates 56, 114

Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Women 1862, plates 92

Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Women 1863, plate 8

Unidentified woman, c1860-1863. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection. Call number: LOT 6286, p. 29

Unidentified soldier with two women, c1861-1865. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection. Call number: AMB/TIN no. 2703

Sources

Picken, Mary Brooks. A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion: Historic and Modern. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications, Inc. 1985.

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/09/06/fashion-moments-bolero-zouave-jackets/

Fashion Moments – Armistice Blouse

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the armistice blouse.

Armistice Blouse

The armistice blouse gets its name from the popular style of shirtwaists worn by women around the time of the World War I armistice in 1918. However, the name was not used until many years later when it was adopted by costumers and historians. A typical armistice blouse was made from a lightweight, semi-transparent fabric, like silk, cotton lawn/voile or handkerchief linen. A defining characteristic of the blouse was its decorative center panel which often featured lace inserts, embroidery or pin tucking. Many had long collars (around the top portion of the neckline) which often extended to the top of the center panel or even further. Generally, they were white or light beige (natural undyed fabric). Some armistice blouses have center front closures with sailor styled collars.

Armstice Blouse

Armistice blouse

Lord & Taylor Winter 1918

Further Reading

The University of Chapel-Hill, North Carolina currently is participating in a World War I cententary project. Included in the project is an Armistice Blouse exhibit. There are photographs of several examples of armistice blouses in the article.

An example of a center front closing armistice blouse and sailor collar can be found at the Jewish History Museum’s website. This blouse has a wonderful example of pin tucking. The back view shows the sailor collar.

The New York Public Library has an extensive digital collection with many clothing related items, such as clothing advertisements.

Images

A vintage armistice blouse from my personal collection which I bought at an antique mall many moons ago. The center panel on this blouse features a mixture of pin tucks and lace inserts. The sides of the center panel are decorated with embroidered buttons. The blouse is made of silk.

Advertisement for a blouse from the January 1919 issue of the Woman’s Home Companion, p. 26, via Google Books.

Advertisement for Lord & Taylor from Vogue Magazine, 1918. NYPL catalog ID (B-number) : b17122179

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/08/30/fashion-moments-armistice-blouse/

Monthly Update – August

My brain is currently scrambled. The last month has been crazy. This year I accepted a position to share a contract with another teacher in a fourth grade classroom. It has been almost a decade since I was actually responsible for a class of my own! Last week was the first week of school. I survived three teacher in service days and two days in the classroom. Lots of new faces, new rules, and beginning of year assessments. And of course, this year my school is implementing a new reading/language arts program so everyone is super crazy trying to figure out what it is exactly we are going to do! My genealogy writing has been put on the back burner for a few months, but I am still managing to work on several projects.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy

Dear Mother, Love Daddy cover

Book sales have been slow and steady this summer. I am about to order a new shipment of books in anticipation of my lecture in September. I have three copies left if anyone wishes to purchase an autographed copy directly from me. Please use the contact form to message me privately.

Looking ahead, I am beginning to focus on the next volume of letters. One of the first steps is to come up with a name for the second volume. I like the idea of using some of the common phrases that Roscoe used to sign off his letters. A couple possibilities are So Solong, Love Daddy and Lots of Love, Daddy. Feel free to offer suggestions in the comments! Bear in mind that there will be several volumes of letters so I could use more than one suggestion.

Sacramento Library

Genealogy Programs Summer Sac LibraryLast month, I attended the lecture by Jim Walton on Understanding the Logic of Genealogical Research. Despite a bit of technical trouble at the beginning of the presentation, Jim did a great job breaking down the research for his article that appeared in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (which was published earlier this year). I missed the lecture on August 2nd, but there is still time to attend the third lecture in the series on September 13th. Genealogist Melinda Kashuba will discuss using digital maps for tracking the migration patterns of our ancestors.

My Ask A Genealogist session at the end of July went well. I helped three library patrons explore their Chinese, African American and Mexican roots. Two of my three time slots for August are already booked so if you are interested in signing up, don’t delay!

The weeks are getting shorter and I am still trying to put together my presentation on Why Genealogy? The presentation will be on September 19th at the Franklin branch of the Sacramento library. Depending on how well the presentation goes, I would like to do some future presentations, including one on DNA research and/or identifying time periods in old photographs. Right now, I have to write a paragraph for the advertising blurb for my upcoming lecture!

Discovering Your Past

Discovering Your Past - Episode 1I have been informed that the next episode should be forthcoming. Maybe by the end of the week?!?! Due to a technical glitch during filming, I was unable to see my co-host! I basically talked to a blank screen while I heard a voice in my head (through my headphones). During my segment, we talked about putting together a research plan. If you missed the first episode, it is available on the Discovering Your Past YouTube channel.

Genealogy Lady Newsletter

I managed to write a second newsletter this month. If you are interested in signing up, there is a sign-up button on my Facebook page. With my new schedule at school this year, I am not sure how often the newsletter will be published. Generally, the newsletter will feature popular articles from my blog, and other events or happenings.

DNA

1079809-Clipart-3d-Green-DNA-Crop-Gene-Modification-Helix-Plant-Royalty-Free-Vector-IllustrationI had some GREAT DNA news this month. My son’s DNA results were finally processed at 23andme this week. It seems like my daughter’s results were done in less than three weeks, but my son’s stretched on for two months. The most fascinating part of doing my children’s DNA is seeing what and how much they share with their grandparents. We are all taught that a person shares 50% with each parent, and 25% with each grandparent, etc. But in reality, past the 50% with each parent, the rest is completely random and does not always follow statistical probabilities. It makes me wish even more that I had been able to test my grandparents. My son shares between 28-29% of his DNA with his maternal grandfather. He inherited his X chromosome from me, completely un-recombined, straight from his maternal grandfather, which means, that my son has Gladys’ X chromosome. It is so neat to really realize that my son has this chunk of my grandmother in his DNA.

The second amazing DNA discovery this month was a new match in my father’s match list. We now have a confirmed 4th cousin descendant of Alfred M. Dicks from one of Alfred’s siblings who did not leave North Carolina. This has been one of my DNA goals. To prove that Alfred M. Dicks was a descendant of Nathan and Eleanor (Leonard) Dicks. Since I published my book on Alfred last fall, I acquired a DNA match with a descendant of Achilles Dicks, who I theorized was Alfred’s brother. Because the Quakers were a relatively endogamous population, I have been nervous about claiming that my proof was completely solid. Having this additional DNA evidence makes my argument even stronger.

Personal Research Update

I have had SO many amazing discoveries this summer. I really am saving the best for last. In the WWII letters, Floyd Yegerlehner made many home movies. My father and I have both wondered if the movies still exist. The answer is YES!!! Floyd’s son, Steve, is in possession of many of the films. We were all curious to see whether they survived 70+ years without being degraded. Some are more so than others. Steve has been working hard this last month to digitally transfer some of the films. So far four have been completed. They are all posted on my YouTube channel. This clip was made in December 1942, and is mentioned in the letters that will appear in the next book.

These videos are a great example of how families can work together to save their shared history. Have a great month of genealogical adventures!

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/08/18/monthly-update-august/

Fashion Moment – Pagoda Sleeve

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the pagoda sleeve.

Pagoda Sleeve

While the term pagoda sleeve has been used to describe any funnel shaped sleeve, this week we will look specifically at the sleeve worn in the 1850s and into the mid 1860s. The pagoda sleeve of this period was narrower at the shoulder, and very wide at the wrist. Often an undersleeve was worn under the outer pagoda sleeve. The undersleeve would have been of a lighter weight cotton or linen fabric, matching the bodice’s chemisette or collar. As the Civil War advanced the pagoda sleeve was replaced by the bishop and bell sleeves. A bell sleeve appears to have been very similar to the pagoda sleeve [in fact I have seen the terms used interchangeably]. By 1864, the term pagoda sleeve had disappeared from the fashion plates. [1] There appears to have been a brief revival of pagoda style sleeves in the 1870s, although not quite to the size (width) in the 1850s. A variation of the pagoda sleeve during the 1850s was constructed of layering tiers.

Further Reading

A brief overview of the clothing of the 1850s and 1860s from Illinois State University.

The book Clothing Through American History: The Civil War through the Gilded Age, 1861-1899 by Anita Stamper and Jill Condra discusses the Pagoda sleeve and many other 19th century fashions. While the book is available for sale on Amazon, it is rather pricey. It can be searched on a limited basis through Google books.

I found a new online resource from the Chester County (Pennsylvania) Historical Society. They have a small collection of clothing on their website.

Sources

[1] Anita Stamper and Jill Condra, Clothing Through American History: The Civil War through the Gilded Age, 1861-1899 (Santa Barbara: Greenwood, 2011), 96.

Priscilla Harris Dalrymple, American Victorian Costume in Early Photographs (New York: Dover Publications, 1991), 16.

Images

Wedding Dress, 1851 (gold, silk). Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. 2009.300.858a, b

Walking Dress, 1865 (green/black plaid, silk). Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. 2009.300.3336a, b

Dress, 1860 (white/beige pattern, cotton). The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. C.I.38.23.59a, b

Dress, 1859 (gold, with embroidered edges). The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accession no. C.I.52.55a, b

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/08/09/fashion-moment-pagoda-sleeve/

Fashion Moments – Beret

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the beret with thanks to reader Jackie Dinnis with her question about some 1930s berets providing this week’s inspiration.

Beret

In basic terms, the beret is a round, brimless hat which generally fits around the crown of the head. It is a soft hat without stiffening. Traditional French and Basque berets are made from felted wool, but different fabrics have been used to create a beret like velvet or cotton. The size and shape of this hat has been adapted and refashioned for millennia. According to several websites, the history of the beret is long and its origins are no longer known. Nowadays, most people think of the French when it comes to berets or elite military groups such as the Green Berets.

005

Some modern berets (Photograph by the author)

1930s

During the 1930s, the French beret became iconic with Hollywood movie starts like Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. The beret quickly made its way into popular fashion. While it did not remain in the forefront of fashion, the hat has never completely disappeared in modern times. The style emerged again in the 1950s and 1960s with the beatnik generation.

Further Reading

A great history of the beret from Hat Tales.

More about military beret styles from blueberet.org

An overall history of hats with a descriptive list of some different hat styles from hatbox.com

Thinking of buying a traditional-styled French beret? Check out the website of Laulhère-France! They have included a “Some History” tab with a great review of the beret’s influence and history.

Blog Post from Glamour Daze regarding the French Beret in the 1930s.

Images

Marlene Dietrich, 1933. Image from the German Federal Archives via Wikipedia.

Sears catalog, Fall 1931. Image from Ancestry.com‘s collection of Sears, Roebuck and Co., 1896-1993.

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/08/02/fashion-moments-beret/

Fashion Moments – Bishop Sleeve

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the bishop sleeve.

 Bishop Sleeve

Simply defined, the bishop sleeve is a wide sleeve that narrows at the wrist, typically into a cuff. This particular fashion comes and goes with regularity, so it can not be used solely to date a garment. Other fashion clues must be utilized. Examples of the bishop sleeve can be found throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, including the blossoming sleeves of the 1960s hippie peasant dress and the glamorous gowns of the 1930s Hollywood starlet.

During the Civil War years, the bishop sleeve enjoyed popularity along with the pagoda sleeve (the subject for another blog post). However, the bishop sleeve was the more practical of the two. It was much easier to “roll up” a bishop sleeve when there was work to be done. It was possibly more popular with the middle and working classes, but since few of these garments exist today, there is sketchy evidence to support this assertion.

Pleating or smocking was often used to control the fullness at the top of the sleeve and the cuffs, but simple gathering can be found as well. The shoulder seam of a 1860s bodice did not land on the shoulder, but rather on the upper arm (often horizontal to the armpit). The fullness of a bishop sleeve makes its appearance at the upper arm (and not the shoulder!).

Civil War Era woman - LOC #4

Woman with smocking at shoulder cap, 1860-1869

Existing Garments

Further Reading

Miss Ashley’s Attic, a company which markets to re-enactors, wrote this piece on Civil War fashion.

A wonderful book by Priscilla Harris Dalyrmple American Victorian Costume in Early Photographs was published in 1991. Still in print, It is available for purchase through Amazon. For extended free sampling, the book can also be found on Google Books. The  book is arranged by decade from the 1840s through the 1890s.

Images

The photographs of the three unidentified women can be found in the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Online Catalog: LOT 6286, p. 12 (LC-DIG-ppmsca-32291); LOT 286, p. 10 (LC-DIG-ppmsca-32287); LOT 6286, p. 3 (LC-DIG-ppmsca-32244). The women in the first two photographs are believed to have been nurses during the Civil War.

The photograph of the woman with smocked sleeves can be found in the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Online Catalog: LOT 6286, p. 49 (LC-DIG-ppmsca-32397).

The two existing garments can be found on the Metropolitan Museum Art’s Costume Collection online:  1981.49.4a, b and C.I.60.11.1.

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/07/26/fashion-moments-bishop-sleeve/

Fashion Moments – Hobble Skirt

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyWelcome to my weekly fashion blog post. Each week I will discuss a female garment, fashion trend or influencer from the age of photography (1840s through the 20th century). My goal is to educate family researchers and genealogists about the clothing worn by our ancestors. Dating photographs is an issue we all struggle with as family archivists. Additionally, anyone who writes about their family’s history should be aware of the environment in which their ancestors lived. Period clothing is an important part of that environment from how it affects a person’s movement to their overall lifestyle. This week I introduce you to the hobble skirt.

Hobble Skirt (1910s)

Between 1910 and the commencement of World War I, women’s skirts were decidedly narrow. Skirts of the previous decade had been full, utilizing generous amounts of fabric. A fitted waist and hip which flared dramatically at the hem marked the first decade of the 20th century. While the silhouette of a 1900 skirt was spectacularly triangular, ten years later, they were positively rectangular. Neoclassicism, romanticism and the mystique of the Orient were some of the artistic aesthetics at play in the fashion world of 1910. In many ways, skirts of the early 1910s resembled Greek or Roman columns.

During this time, the increasingly active lifestyle of women influenced fashion. Skirt hems inched slightly upward. Corsets became less structured. Suffragettes were waging war in London and the United States. Women wanted freedom of movement (as well as the freedom to vote), so why would they confine themselves in a Hobble skirt?

Admittedly, the Hobble skirt was a very short lived trend, and not everyone partook in such foolishness. In essence, the wearer wore a skirt which was so narrow at the hem that the ability to walk was impeded, forcing the wearer to “hobble.” Various methods were employed to prevent the wearer from tearing their skirt (should they take too long of a stride). During the early teens, corsets covered and extended below the hips. Specially corsets which extended to the knees encouraged “hobbling.” [The catalog page below shows typical corsets from 1913, not the specialty ones.]

Fasion - Sears catalog, 1913 corsets

1913 Sears Catalog corsets (Image courtesy of Ancestry.com)

However, the most fascinating device (which was made specifically for Hobble skirts) was the Hobble Garter. Worn below the knees, the garter regulated the walker’s stride to ensure a hobble.

Los Angeles Herald 1910-11-24 Hobble Skirt

Los Angeles Herald, 24 November 1910, p. 12, col. 5-6

Further Reading

An overview from Wikipedia on the Hobble skirt including some later 20th century trends, which were also referred to as Hobble skirts.

Two articles can be found on the Edwardian Promenade blog: Hobble Skirts and Hobble Garters.

Two of the more influential fashion designers during this period were Paul Poiret and Jeanne Paquin.

Images

The three fashion plates are from the Costume Institute Fashion Plates digital collection from the Thomas J. Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art. They are in the public domain.

The catalog page comes from the 1913 Spring Sears catalog, available from Ancestry.com.

The newspaper article is one of many which can be found about the Hobble Garter in 1910. The Library of Congress’ Chronicling America database contains this issue of the Los Angeles Herald.

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/07/19/fashion-moments-hobble-skirt/