All posts filed under: Learn

ca. 1907 Edwardian swimsuit by thedreamstress.com

Can you swim in a worsted wool Edwardian swimsuit? Let’s find out!

Yesterday I showed you my reproduction worsted wool Edwardian swimsuit.  Everyone wanted to know if I actually swam in it, and if you could swim in it.  Obviously I wondered this as well.  The swimsuit was lovely to frolic on the beach on, but could it actually work as a swimsuit. So I gave it a try! My reproduction swimsuit was made from worsted wool serge, and consists of a jumpsuit with attached bloomers, and an overskirt.  Both garments button down the front. I chose to swim with bare legs and feet.  While fashion plates generally show shoes and stockings there are enough period photographs that show wading women with swimsuits and bare lower limbs to make this equally plausible for a full swim. For the first swim I jumped off a little dock at Hataitai/Evan’s Bay beach.  It’s a popular swimming spot (as evinced by all the kids watching me), and very calm and safe, so a good place to try out the swimsuit. My first mini swim showed: It’s definitely possible to swim …

George Romney Mrs. Billington as Saint Cecilia, 1787

What do you wear under a chemise a la reine? 2.0

Five years ago I wrote a post about chemise a la reine (also known as gaulle) dresses, and what was worn under them based on how they are depicted in paintings of the 1780s & 90s. Unfortunately that post is one of the ones that has fallen victim to the Photobucket 3rd party hosting debacle, so I pulled it.  I’ve had quite a few requests for it since.  I decided that as long as I was going to go to the effort of finding and replacing all my images, I should update the entire post.  I’ve learned a lot about chemise  and 18th century undergarments since I originally wrote the post – hopefully I can make more educated guesses.  However, the 18th century is still not my area of study and expertise, so my guesses are  just that, and not an expert opinion.  I’ve posted them to give people food for thought, and a jumping off point for more research of their own. So what was worn under a chemise a la reine?  Obviously you’d …

How to dress like a New Zealand Suffragist

Today is the 124th anniversary of New Zealand becoming the first country in the world to allow women the right to vote.  September 19th is celebrated as White Camellia Day or New Zealand Suffrage Day, the first name after the emblem of the New Zealand suffrage movement: the white camellia. White Camellia Day is particularly exciting this year, as Saturday is a parliamentary election, early voting is already open, so lots of women I know are planning to vote today, and there is a reasonable chance that New Zealand will elect its third female prime minister.  I’m going to vote on Saturday (Mr D & I have a tradition of walking to the polls together ((d’aww)) and I’ll be voting based on policy, not gender, but I still think it’s fantastic that New Zealand has already had two female prime ministers, and might have another. In honour of the elections and Suffrage Day falling so close together, and since there has been discussion of people going to the polls dressed as suffragettes, I thought I’d …