well........... this post, I must say, is long overdo. I was going to post it as soon as I got back from the holidays, on the 4th, but somehow I kept on putting it off. There were quite a few things I needed to tend to first, before I could resume blogging. And then the Little Women fashion event was "announced" and I started thinking in terms of Civil War fashion. But, better late than never!
First I must kill a typical assumption. Everyone--including me, six months ago-- seems to think that 1900-1915 or so were what is called the "Victorian" era. Well, wipe that thought out of your mind for good. The Victorian era was from about 1835 (Princess Victoria became queen, in 1829. The Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of a new era) to 1900 or so. Queen Victoria, you must remember, died 1901. (If you want to see what women actually wore, here's a link to the costume study for The Young Victoria. )
After Victoria died, her son, Edward VII, became king; hence, the word which no one (save those who love historical costumes) ever uses when naming off various eras: Edwardian. (the pic on the left is Edwardian, by the way)
The Edwardian era was short-lived.... some say it ended in 1910 with Edwards reign, but I believe it ended in 1918, after World War I ended.
Edwardian fashion was very different from Victorian fashion. Here are two pics: the first Victorian style-dress, the second Edwardian.
I must note: this is one of the many styles that was during the Victorian era. Remember, the Victorian era lasted for 65 years.... there were also bustles, bloomers (yes, bloomers. Young women in the Suffragette movement ran around in bloomers, which was basically their underwear; usually for athletic reasons, though. It was hard to run in bustles.) The figure women desired drastically changed.
This is Edwardian, circa 1912. Skirts got shorter, corsets got looser, and and the hobble skirt was "invented". (Here's a link to a article with pictures of it.)
One of the funniest Edwardian fads was the hobble skirt, I must say. Honestly, loosen up the restriction of your corset, and what do you do? You bind a different body part.
The skirt was so tight, it would rip during a normal stride. Therefore, they tied their legs together with rope to prevent that. Grandmothers believed the hobble skirt would make ladies out of the young women of the day, since they had to shorten their stride so much.
A good example of the Edwardian era costumes are the costumes in the movie "Titanic". Of course, the movie has quite a bit of objectionable content, so instead of watching the movie to see the costumes, I just look at the costume study. Here's a link. Also, here's a link to an article containing several drawings of Edwardian clothing from the original magazines and whatnot.
Did you know that the zipper was invented about 1915? So much has happened over the past 100 years....