Category Archive: Historic Clothing

97 Years Ago Today

The original caption is “Women Rivet Heaters and Passers On, Ship Construction Work.  Navy Yard, Pugent Sound, Washington.”  Taken May 29, 1919. Most of them are wearing proper boots with heels, but a… Continue reading

Design Advice from the Dress Doctors

I cannot adequately express how much I love this book — The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish. Author Linda Przybyszewski tells the story of the early 20th… Continue reading

We May Be in Better Shape Than We Thought

If you bemoan your fitness level, you might be interested in the results of this fitness test from 1889: In order to ascertain the influence of tight clothing upon the action of the… Continue reading

Harvest Costumes from the 1930s and 40s

In this season of harvest, I bring you some creative costumes from the bountiful Rio Grande Valley of  Texas.  They were made in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, for the annual Birthday Party… Continue reading

“These Kids Today!” in 1862

Here is a look at precocious children from the past, courtesy of Punch magazine of London. As a former teacher, I can relate to this one, titled Missus-ism. I don’t know what “odd… Continue reading

The Trials of Courtship in 1862

Well, since we all are enjoying these cartoons from the past, I will share some more.  These are from Punch magazine, published in London from 1841 to 1992.  These are from the 1862… Continue reading

Men’s Fashion Foibles from 1862

Looking at my estate sale purchase, a bound issue of Punch from 1862, we see that gentlemen were not spared from the editors’ gibes …  

Domestics and the Crinoline in 1862

Yesterday we went to an estate sale at a huge ranch.  Thousands of items were being sold, but most of them were just ordinary things like throw pillows or boxes of glassware from… Continue reading

What Clothes Reveal

You know the image of our industrious forebears — After studying textile history for the last 20 years, I had a hazy idea that that image casts our ancestors in a glorified light,… Continue reading

Dress Diary 1855-1917

A few days ago, when I was looking at the Hollywood costume sketches at the Brooklyn Museum, I noticed this wonderful dress diary in their archives. The diary’s owner, Ida Jackson, was born… Continue reading