There were special riding corsets. They were shorter than most corsets, with minimal hip coverage so that the lady could move more easily. Corsets then were like bras are us today. Women did not even think of going out without one. Check out Catherine Walters-she must have had a 16" waist, and there are pictures of her in her riding habit. Most women did not tightlace, though.
Hello ! I love your blog it's beautiful. I was wondering if you'd be interested in private pictures of antique clothes - I have a few pieces (19-something traditional berner corset, and 1950ish feather toque) that I would gladly take pictures of should you be interested ?
Of course! I’ve posted things from private collections before.
I wanted an outlet for all the time I spent exploring fashion history resources. Before, I would show a friend a nice dress I found and go on and on about how great it was and they’d just smile and nod. They’re probably relieved that I’m not pushing dresses in their face anymore. lol
Okay, you just posted a riding habit. Would you think women would wear a corset under that? I'm thinking more of a ribbon corset, rather than a full one?
Stays were worn while riding, but they had minimal boning to allow for movement. Either way, I rode horses for years and can’t imagine having to wear a corset while the horse is doing anything other than walking!
Hi - Im researching maternity clothes of the 1880's - as I have to dress one of the puppets Im making into one - do you have any other images - or could you point me in the right direction where I can find some images ? I have been looking thru the net but not much luck - thanks kindly - Dagmara
I posted all I could find a couple weeks ago. You’ll find the posts in the maternity tag.
im studying costume design and have to choose a Victorian profession, mostly for the underworld of London-i am doing pickpockets. I have found a few references but not many as old, well used clothes don't survive well. Any suggestions? Thank you x
Yeah, like you said we don’t have many examples of clothing worn by the lower classes because it would have been worn until it was falling apart, and then it was reused. My dad’s family (a poor North Carolina farm family) cut up all their old clothes and used the cloth to make quilts, for example.
I’m not sure I know what to tell you about finding pickpocket clothes. I guess whatever lower-class boys wore, only probably more tattered since they were street kids. Your best bet might be to find pictures of street children rather than looking for extant examples of their clothing.
^ Street child and a reverend, 1885 US (possibly Boston or NYC)
Thank you for making this site so navigable! I write a lot of period novels in my dwindling spare time. It helps to picture what my characters are wearing in my head when I write, and you have SO many varieties. It's amazing how much time you save me by making it so organized. I can go straight to 1860s,1880s, etc. Thank you very much!
For the anon who asked about women's military footwear, Blitzkrieg Baby discusses footwear (and essentially all other uniforms) for all the U.S. women's military branches of WWII. That might be a good place to start.
I can’t find any extant examples, but based on pictures it seems like women in WWII mostly wore flat or low to mid-heeled oxfords. Regular civilian heels appear to have also been worn at times, and I’ve seen some combat boots worn by members of the air force as well.
Here’s some civilian and oxford heels and flat oxfords:
Women in WWI seem to have worn mainly lace-up boots either heeled or flat as well as flat oxfords. The lace-up boots were similar to the ones worn by civilians.
Some female American sailors wearing oxfords and boots: