Sunday, February 15, 2009
Fashion. It’s a crazy thing. Are you old enough to remember when we weren’t allowed to wear pants to school? It seems a little silly now. I mean, especially since the dresses I wore in high school were far more scandalous than any pants ever designed.
But despite how we may feel about today's fashions, there have been crazier times.
And that’s part of the beauty of penning historical fiction. As writers we can mentally design amazing costumes. The Renaissance garments were…well sometimes they were a little strange--I mean, men wearing velvet doublets and breeches and lace. Codpieces in every conceivable color and design! Notice the fellow with the hound. Is he proud or what?
But sometimes the clothes were marvelous. Personally, I’m pretty sure every manly man should have a hardy pair of cuffed boots and a plumed hat for whenever he has to go maraudering…or whatever.
And although I’m not crazy about the
idea of spending my days trussed in a whalebone corset and wearing a clown collar, this 1575 portrait of Queen Elizabeth’s gown is all but mesmerizing.
Marie Antoinette was beheaded in the late 18th century, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because of her fashion sense. I mean, who doesn’t want to wear a cotton candy wig floating a made-to-scale man o’ war?
And the Regency years! Despite its foppish foolery, women’s clothing returned to a kind of Grecian elegance. True, sometimes tons of cleavage was involved and more than a few 19th century ladies would wet their gowns to show their ummm…charms.
But I’d throw out every article of clothing my husband owns in lieu of a tail coat and a tall pair of Hessians. I mean seriously…that era understood sexy.
The world has been having a love affair with clothing for hundreds of years. Personally, I rather desperately long for the triumphant return of bonnets and gloves that reach your elbows but only if they can be freely exchanged for ratty cowboy hats and woolen mittens.
So how about you? What bygone years do you find most intriguing? Is there a particular article of clothing you’d like to see resurrected? Or are you thrilled to spend each and every day in well-worn sweats and house slippers?
I’m giving away a copy of Seduced By Your Spell (released Feb. 24th) to one commenter, so please blog on.
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