Fashion through the ages can be quite interesting, especially when examining women’s fashions. You have the simple beauty of the Empire-waist dresses during the Regency era; the elegant, wide sweeping gowns of the Civil War Era; and the form-accentuating narrow skirts and bustles of the Victorian Era.
I love to peruse the internet for beautiful dresses to include in my stories and fantasize about wearing, but sometimes the practical side of me pokes its little head up and asks some great questions.
If you hate spending more than fifteen minutes getting ready in the morning, why one earth would you want to spend hours getting ready in one of those ridiculous dresses? And can you imagine going to the bathroom in one of those dresses?
Those two questions were my only hesitations in buying and wearing my Civil War gown for the ACFW genre dinner. I would only have 30 minutes between the last session and the genre dinner to get to the room, change clothes, and do my hair. I might be able to avoid the bathroom issue, as long as I didn’t drink too much water, but I knew myself better than that.
Praise the Lord for placing me in the information age and YouTube. Someone posted on Facebook a wonderful post about Civil War fashion, which led me to these wonderful videos from PriorAttire. I learned so much just from watching them.
Debunking the Myth: It Took Hours to Get Dressed
The Bathroom: How on earth did they do it?
What did you think of these videos? I know they helped me. Although, split drawers were not an option for me and the bathroom stalls were very narrow, even compared to modern standards, so the bathroom was still an interesting feat at ACFW.
What are your thoughts? Are there any reenactment people out there who would like to share their experiences and insights?
If you could go back and wear any era dress, what would be your preference?
Share your answers below. In the meantime, here is a sneak peak of a couple of the dresses which inspired what my heroine wears in my current Work In Progress.