Friday, May 28, 2010

18th century fashion

Allison Elizabeth asked,

What do you think about 18th Century Fashion?

Here is a very interesting interactive website I found about clothes from 1700. You click through the different layers of a typical woman's wardrobe and when you put your mouse over the pictures, it has information about each type of garment.
Explore the website, too, they also have one for men's clothes in 1700, and a few from 1770, including a little girl's outfit. There are other time periods on there too.

After you've looked at that website, play this game. You have to put the clothes on the 18th century girl in the correct order.

So there's a little bit about 18th century fashion, now, what do I think of it? Hmmm... An entire century of fashion is a pretty broad category to have a solid opinion on.

18th century fashion looks uncomfortable.
It doesn't look practical for doing anything in.
Plus, they hardly ever washed their clothes, which is really gross.

On the other hand, some of the clothing from that period was just beautiful and intricate and amazing. They were things of quality.

The way we dress now, with mass produced t-shirts and jeans, has so much less character than clothing did in the 18th century. Each item took a long time to finish by hand, and each item was unique. There was no danger of showing up somewhere wearing the exact same thing as someone else.
I also love that there were social standards for clothes. Today we seem to have no standards. Everyone can pretty much wear whatever they want, which many times is not much. Not too long ago it was considered immodest to show your ankles.

So, what do I think about 18th century fashion? I think it is a beautiful thing to learn about and even wear occasionally, but I would not like to wear it all of the time. I wonder how easy it would be to make a simplified 18th century outfit, based on the one shown in the first interactive thing I linked?



Nina said...

I always thought it was amusing that in the 18th century it was scandalous to show your ankles, but their dresses were cut down to their knees! lol Modesty works in both directions. ;)

Lizzy Bennet said...

I agree, Jane - I have always thought it was beautiful the way they dressed during the 18th century. Of course, you have to count the fact that a lot of their gowns were very low-cut in the neckline. That is not modest. But many who cared about modesty chose not to dress with such low necklines, I'm sure. In every time period you are going to find clothes that are modest and clothes that are immodest. That does not mean, however, that we must dress immodestly. You simply have to go into it expecting that there will be some gowns that are not the most modest.

Very good post - I appreciate how you said that many gowns and clothes back then were more original, which is so true. No need to worry, as you said, about someone wearing the same sweater as you!

Love in Christ,

Jane said...

Yes, of course you're both right about the modesty thing. There has always been immodesty. lol
I was talking more about just the social standards; not necessarily just modesty. You know, that they had to wear a hat when out walking, and you had to wear the right kind of dress to go to a tea party in, etc. I just think that's interesting. : )