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Author Topic: White blouses and coloured skirts?  (Read 2026 times)
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dulciewhite
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« on: December 26, 2007, 09:19:08 PM »

I know many places say no to these. I always assumed no too.. until I got looking through the french site and found a few pics...
This one is dated 1861


The next 2 are 1863


and the young girl


What are the rules for white blouse and coloured skirt? If someone wanted they could easily grab up these images and say.. see it was done. My feelings are thoug, these are young girls, minus the middle pic... though shes pretty young too.

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Anna G.
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2007, 10:01:46 PM »

Yes, the white "blouse" was very fashionable for a teen girl. These bodices were made up in sheer fabrics (like sheer cottons and wools, as well as silk gauze) and worn with fine silk or wool skirts and silk or wool jackets. Belts (as you can see in your lovely images) were also fashionable to wear with these. Clearly, this was the peak of fashion for a high-class girl, and not one likely to be in the muck on the farm. Many, as I'm sure you know, have used the white "blouse" with a cotton calico skirt and "snood" for a newbie outfit, whereas this white bodice is nicely fitted and set into a waistband, not normally tucked in. You can find more info about these bodices in Elizabeth's Practical Prinkery on page 90. It's a great read for other teen/girl fashions, too!  Smiley

-Anna
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 10:04:04 PM by Anna G. » Logged
Chessa_Swing
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2007, 05:54:22 AM »

Something to add to Anna's synopsis: The skirt could also be made from sheer fabrics (Which includes cotton?) and wear a waist of some sort over it. 

Those are great images!  I love the girl in the checked blue dress in the last pics Smiley
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Carolann Schmitt
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2007, 07:37:40 AM »

This is a style for girls, young ladies, and some very fashionable women. It is lovely when it is properly executed; i.e. fine or clear muslin bodies, silk or fine wool skirts, cut and constructed using period techniques. When it's not, it's just a good advertisement for Maalox.  Smiley

Regards,
Carolann
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Carolann Schmitt - Only a historian understands how much you need to know in order to recognize how much you don't know. - Elizabeth Ann Coleman
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dulciewhite
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2007, 07:44:00 AM »

I didnt even think about them being sheer! I get it now. I figured it had to do with the young/teens too.  Its good to know,  because I dont want to say it was never done, because it was. But now I get it lol.

Chessa... that plaid dress is the reason I really saved the picture. I have some silk plaid for Kyler and was trying to figure out what to do with it. Its been put into my files for ideas for her.
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NoahBriggs
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2007, 08:18:53 AM »

Piggybacking Carolann's comments - this type of outfit looks really cool and period-correct when done right, otherwise it sags under the weight of the Farbiness stigma.  Kinda like women soldiers.

Old Bedford Village in July 06 I saw some great outfits - (to my uneducated, pre-Sewing-Academy-Forum-eye anyway) that made do with some good examples of sheers.  I think it included the example of white top and colored skirt.  As usual I forgot to bring my camera.  I had fallen out of the habit of bringing one because of ennui.  Been there, seen that, already took a picture, what's the point.  I'll try not to do that again.
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dulciewhite
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2007, 08:22:49 AM »

I was thinking about doing it for my girls... since they could get away with it. I love the last one in the black and white. She also has her hair in a net Smiley Hmmmm.... Those would be great for Gettysburg too as they would be cooler for them. Now to find some white sheer!! I do have a blue silk plaid that I was going to use as a dress, but not sure I have enough... Perhaps I might have enough for a skirt for Kyler, then I could do the shet white shirt. Im just worried about being called farby that way. Thats the last thing I want to be called!!
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2007, 08:31:29 AM »

Many groups, sites, or events issue a blanket "no white/colored combinations" to simplify life--the vast, vast majority of such combinations in "repro" clothing are really, really poorly done, with cheap muslin shirts (or MEN'S shirts!) as the "bodice" and cotton calico as the skirt... total Maalox Moment, as Carolann said.

So, in the PERIOD, there's No Such Rule.  Here are the guidelines, summarized:

1: High Fashion Fabrics: best silk, wool, or sheer cotton skirts with period skirt construction; best wool or sheer cotton bodices with period bodice construction; best and finest accessory items; fine shoes, fine bonnet, fine stockings.

2: Worn with Fashionable Support: well corseted and well hooped, with enough underskirts to give a very soft silhouette--if worn by little girls, stays are pretty much required to keep everything stable around the waist, and it's a very highly-fitted style, too.  The lengths of the bodice need to be precise, so the waist sits at the fashionable level and does not droop fore or aft, and the skirts need a full bell.

3: Worn primarily by young women and girls who meet the "high fashion" criteria.  (Girls should wear Swiss whitework embellished drawers to the mid/upper calf, the chemise should not peek past the lining of the white bodice, etc.)

Well done, a woman in her teens or 20s *could* spend close to $1000 getting a really good ensemble together in this fashion, stem to stern, as it will often require adding a few wardrobe items (like fashionable indoor shoes, a good parasol, etc) that might not normally be needed in a working class setting.

It's gorgeous when done well, and it's rarely done well.  Anna Allen (of www.thegracefullady.com) has pulled it off gorgeously in the past, as have a few other talented young sewists.  Merchant Row has not yet produced a good version. Smiley
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Regards,
Elizabeth
Emmanuel Dabney
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2007, 10:22:20 AM »

Because she is too polite to do so let me say the only time I've personally been able to witness correct blouse and skirt pairing is by the beautiful and intelligent Anna Allen. You may see her too: http://www.thegracefullady.com/civilwargowns/everydaydress_annaelyssagowns.htm
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