You’ve gotten some hints, but many people have asked what my wardrobe was like for my Fortnight in 1916.
I did a great deal of research in diaries and newspaper articles, and assembled what I thought resembled a fairly middle of the road wardrobe for a housewife to wear during a two week period in Wellington in August 1916. One thing my researched revealed is that, just like today, there was probably a fair amount of variation in wardrobes, even in the same social class. Some of us own dozens of bras, some of us own 2: the same was true in 1916.
Here, however, is my best guess at what a middle class Wellington housewife would have worn over a two week period in winter 1916 (eta: her total wardrobe would have been bigger, particularly in terms of accessories, one or two nice outfits, and seasonal items, but that didn’t come up in my fortnight):
My research indicates very poor women only had one set of undergarments, and even some ‘middle class’ women did with as few as two, but might also have as many as 10. Wool long combinations were probably more common for winter wear, but combinations of this pattern were definitely known in NZ in this period. All were made from Wearing History’s Combination pattern.
Two longline corsets:
Eight pairs of stockings:
One for each day of the week, and one for wash day!
Four corset covers:
Two were made from my own pattern, two from Wearing History’s corset cover pattern.
All cotton, but a wool flannel petticoat might still have been common during the winter of 1916.
Plus, one pair of shoes, two hats, a cardigan, a cardigan jacket, two pairs of gloves, and a coat!
It makes a fine pile of garments: