So what are the clothing myths?
Posted by Carolyn B on February 28, 1998 at 00:18:06:
Having read the discussions below about corset myths and "wet t-shirt" ; ) fashions, I'm curious about what the common misconceptions that the costume experts here at RoP see repeated again and again.
I am always interested in the "myth-busting" aspects of history and also in the ways we sometimes misconstrue past cultural behavior because we either impose our own values on the past OR we forget that people in the past were generally sensible human beings who in many instances reacted to things the same ways we do.
I am also curious about what the main sources are for how people in the early 1800s actually wore clothes vs. what the fashion plates look like, because most of my experience with 19th C. costume is after the invention of the camera. (I had to date a small collection of post-Civil War Victorian portrait photographs by costume while working on an internship in grad school.) Recent scholarship in American costume history has looked at how people actually took the fashion mags and patterns and implemented them in real life. (See Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans & Fashion, 1840-1900 by Joan Severa, Kent State Univ. Press, 1995 - immensely cool book with lots of period photos)
From my own meager collection of 19th C. photos, I have noted that then as now some people just don't look good in the latest fashion; some people will always look good, no matter what they wear; some people should not be allowed to dress themselves and even Victorian people had bad hair days. Now if only they had invented the camera a few decades earlier so we could see JA and company "in the flesh"!!
- Myth: The discomfort of earlier clothes Jessamyn 16:27:40 3/04/98 (2)
- Clothing Marie Bernadette 23:52:23 3/01/98 (6)
- Long Ramble from a non-expert. Caroline 14:44:28 2/28/98 (0)
- A Few Quick Thoughts Captain Everett 10:44:24 2/28/98 (2)
- I'm glad you brought this up... P. Bingham 00:57:16 2/28/98 (7)
- I'm glad you brought this up... Kathy hammel 12:26:38 2/28/98 (6)
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