Blushing and bowing my head in false modesty...
Posted by Marie Bernadette on January 17, 1998 at 18:05:46:
In response to What a terrific husband you have!, written by P. Bingham on January 17, 1998 at 16:38:46
For years he would never wear any sort of costume, not even for Hallowe'en. I made the outfit for him and he was skeptical, but once he saw how smart he looked in it he liked it quite well indeed. I think it is because men's clothing of this century (the entire century!) is so boring. Office attire is unimaginative. Casual wear is hideous (sweat pants, ball cap- oh! how I despise ball caps!- tee shirts) is it any wonder men are so disinterested in clothing? I think most men would relish the chance to play the part of the gentleman; the trick is getting them to admit it. When a 20th century man dons a cutaway and waistcoat something amazing happens: he puts his shoulders back, stands up straight and immediately aquires an 'air'. Perhaps the best way to introduce the idea is to start with something in familiar colours. My husband likes blue so that made the coat appealing. He didn't know what to think when I was making the trousers, but when he tried them on he found them to be far more comfortable than his favourite jeans! And the waistcoat? Well, I just cooed and fussed over how much I loved stand-up collars. The boots (the 1812 boots, not the ones in the picture, although he likes those with jeans (finally got him out of running shoes!) oh, uh, ah-yes- the tall shiny, black 1812 boots just sold themselves! Another thing men are afraid to admit nowadays is that they like boots. Those boots look sharp and give a man an 'authoratative' sound when he walks that can melt the heart of even a card-carrying feminist like me!
Make a relatively plain suit in a 1990's colour (not flouresant; oh, you know what I mean-dark green or something). I know men wore lavender with abandon during the Regency but...Choose a style that is easy to wear. Do not try to put him in stays no matter how abundant his flesh is. (Waistcoats do wonders for 'pot bellies' anyway). And the neck cloths are no where near as bad as modern day ties! (And there are many interesting ways to tie them). If you make a suit and your man still doesn't like it you can always sell it to re-enacters who are always on the look out for such things. Also, some men may be more likely to start with something less 'intimidating' than a full blown cutaway with waist coat, &c. A book called (yes, again with the books!) Historic Costume in Pictures by Braun & Schneider has pictures of the middle classes as well as peasants (and nobles). This book shows costumes from a variety of different cultures, too (although for the Regency/ Empire they mostly show German, French and English). But my point is that some men will wear 'period garb' if it is not too fancy. The workman or craftsman look is popular and easy to make. Let us know if you have any success in this endeavour, Patricia!
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.