The first book in my new Custard Protocol series, Prudence, is coming March 17, 2015. In other words... soon! This book is set in 1895 and I have concocted, for you, a pictorial guide to a possible outfit that a young lady of Rue's rank might wear during this time period.
The images run with what she would need to put on, in order. Ready? Here we go...
On the bottom half:
|1 1890 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|2 1890s Stockings The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|3 1899 Garters 1899 The Chicago History Museum|
|4 1895-1905 Oxfords The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
Note that shoes have to go on early? Well before the corset and also the rest of the dress for bending and hemming reasons.
|Combination 1890s The Metropolitan Museum of Ar|
Combinations are a hard one for me, as an author. Because they were totally UBIQUITOUS undergarments at the time of the Custard Protocol books. They were the most common form of underwear. However, the name and the concept is entirely lost to the modern mind set. Most of my readers would have no basis for comparison should I drop the word "combination" into, for example, a shape change or a nookie scene. I must, therefore, use the word in correct context so as to make it clear that is what the character is wearing. Or have it described to another foriegn character. And yet, it's not something that would be described. So I have to have said foreigner describe it and everyone else get embarrassed. Oh! I like that. Forget I said anything, OK?
On the upper half:
|Bust Improvers 1890s Whitaker Auction|
Rue wouldn't need these, but I include them because I think its so fun that they exist at all!
|5 Camisol 1895-1905 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|1893 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|8 Sleeve Supports 1890s The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
And over the top:
|7 1895 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|9 1894 Evening Dress Charles Fredrick Worth, 1894 The Kyoto Costume Institute|
|10 1890s The Goldstein Museum of Design|
|11 1895-1905 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|12 Muff and Hat 1890s The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
Alternatively, here's a look at more sporty options...
|Stockings 1890s The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Combinations undergarment, England, 1875 - 1900|
|Corset 1890s Summer Corset The Victoria & Albert Museu|
|Corset Cover 1895-1900 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
And sportswear on the outside:
|Gym Suit 1895-1899 The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Cycling Ensemble 1895 The Kyoto Costume Institute|
|Shirtwaist 1894 The Museum at FIT _ OMG that dress!|
|1890s Under The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Travel Suit Jacques Doucet, 1895 The Victoria & Albert Museum|
You don't have to take the pictures as proof. Here's some research to back it up...
Gwen Raverat at the end of the century describes the modest dress of a respectable female.
"Women were incredibly modest . . . even with each other. You could see a friend in her petticoat, but nothing below that was considered decent. At school, the sidht of a person in her white frilly drawers caused shrieks of outraged virtue; and I should have thought it impossible to be seen downstairs in my dressing-gown."
~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. 269)
Now you see why werewolves have such a hard time? And they aren't even female. Poor Rue, when she shape shifts, scandal inevitably follows her.
|americangothgirl-tumblr Catalog Photographs, Front and Back Views of Woman In Corset, c. 1880s. Albumen Prints|
"This is what a young lady wore, with whom I shared a room one night...
- Thick, long-legged woolen combinations.
- Over them, white cotton combinations, with plenty of buttons and frills.
- Very serious, bony, grey stays, with suspenders.
- Black woolen stockings.
- White cotton drawers, with buttons and frills.
- White cotton 'petticoat-bodice', with embroidery, buttons and frills.
- Rather short, white flannel, petticoat.
- Long alpaca petticoat, with a flounce round the bottom.
- Pink flannel blouse.
- High, starched, white collar, fastened on with studs.
- Navy blue tie.
- Blue skirt, touching the ground, and fastened tightly to the blouse with a safety-pin behind.
- Leather belt, very tight.
- High button boots.
|Undergarments ca. 1900-03 From the FIDM Museum|
1898 Walking Suit, House of Worth, French, Made of silk and lace
Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.