8 Results for tag "Fashion & Clothing"
Did you know colonialists often wore bright colors and patterns? Explore the world of 18th-century fashion and style.
The Art of Beauty
On the title page of The Toilet of Flora (1772), we discover the purpose of cosmetics is to “smooth and brighten the Skin, give Force to Beauty, and take off the Appearance of Old Age and Decay.” In the 18th-century cosmetic receipts (recipes) found in beauty and toiletry books, housewifery …
How Much Clothing Did an 18th-Century Woman Really Own?
It’s undeniably the question we get asked more often than any other in the millinery shop: how much clothing did the “average” woman have in the 18th century? On the surface, it seems like it should be an easy inquiry to answer, but its complexities might surprise you.One of the …
Cutting to the Chase
Getting new clothing in the 18th century was much more of a participatory process than it is today. Mantua-makers — dressmakers — used a process called “cutting to the body” to create most fitted clothing for women. Before mass-produced clothing, standardized sizing, or commercial patterns existed, fitted garments were made …
Giving an Officer’s Coat New Life with Death Head Buttons
Although today we typically think of buttons as purely utilitarian objects, they can also be quite decorative, and their appearance can drastically change the overall aesthetic and interpretation of a garment. One officer’s coat in the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation collection has had numerous button makeovers throughout its lifetime. This summer, …
The Life of an 18th-century Hairdresser
You may have heard the phrase "behind every great man is a great woman." Well, as an apprentice wigmaker and student of 18th-century fashion, I have a slightly different version: behind every fashionable Queen is her hairdresser. For those of us who study the history of hair, one name is …
Creating an Embroidered Coat for George Washington
Late last year the Costume Design Center was tasked with constructing a civilian suit for George Washington interpreter Daniel Cross to wear for dance programs at the Governor’s Palace, portraying Washington before the Revolution. Today this would be considered a “semi-formal” dress suit.To inform our design, we consulted the known …
Thomas Jefferson Wore Patched Clothes and You Can Too!
I know it’s happened to every one of us: you’ve got that favorite pair of jeans that go with nearly everything. They’re fashionable, you love how you look, once you’ve got them on you are ready to conquer the day. You’ve built a relationship with those jeans, you think you’re …