All posts filed under: Learn

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 …

The ideal WWI figure Part IV: staying fashionable and supporting a full bust, 1910s style

In Part IV of The Ideal WWI Figure, let’s look at how women with full busts achieved support and the fashionable silhouette of the period. Part I: The Ideal WWI Figure: a range of Ideals Part II: Breaking Down the Elements that Made the ‘Ideal’ figure Part III: The Changing Ideal Figure, 1913-1921 One of the most common questions I get asked about the Rilla Corset is how to wear it/what you do for bust support if you are very full busted, as it sits below the bust. To answer that question, let’s go back to the source, and look at period accounts, illustrations, and extant examples of bust supporting garments.  There is no better way to find out how to support your bust then to see how it was actually done in period. As we’ve seen from looking at the figure ideals in the 1910s over the last three posts in the series, the ideal WWI bust, whether small or big, was low and drooping, rather than high and perky, as is the modern …

The Ideal WWI era figure, Part III: the changing ideal from 1913-1921

Continuing on in my series looking at the ‘ideal’ figure from 1913-1921, this week lets look at how figure ideals changed from 1913 to 1921. See Part I, for a range of ideal figures as featured in a Gossard’s corset ad, here; and Part II, for a breakdown of the elements of the ‘ideal’ 1913-1921 figure, here. Starting in 1913, the ultra-fashionable 1913 figure was very much a carry-on of the extremely slim-hipped 1910 look: The bust is the full, low, drooping Edwardian mono-bosom that has been in fashion since ca. 1900. Depictions of un-corseted women in the same catalogue show figures that are somewhat less stylised, but have the same general slim hipped, low busted look, though with separate breasts, rather than a monobosom: The biggest change in the fashionable silhouette of the 1910s happened between 1913 and 1914.  At the end of 1913 we see the very beginnings of the change: hips were widening, and the silhouette was changing from ‘a snake with a boob’ (as a friend of mine calls it), to a …