What they wore


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Jun 11, 2000
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Since you ask, Jason, I think I'm happier to be in my baggy jeans and sweatshirt. In fact, I think I'd be happier in a hijab, than in what Molly was sporting. Such clothes are fine for Inger as she's only in her early 30s, but if you're not a clothes-peg, or are over 40, then I think this sort of thing is a mistake. Mind you, I rather admire people who say "****** it!" and dress as they want, and I suspect she was one of those.

Anyone seen Madonna recently? Her face and hair, thanks to modern interventions, looks OK most of the time. Her outline figure, thanks to hours in the gym, puts most of us to shame. But her arms, legs and hands ... oh dear. She's 50, and there's no getting away from it.
 
May 27, 2007
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How true Monica. Although Madonna tries. I like Molly for wearing what she wants and I think it is Gold Lame or gold leaf, cloth, like Jason stated. I wear jeans and tee-shirts although I dress my daughter up in fancy dresses from time to time.
 
May 27, 2007
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Scarlet red would suit her better although I also say brown or green because Margaret was salt of the Earth type. Do a search on Margaret Brown and see if you can find Jason Schleisman's walking tour of the town she lived in before her and Mr. Brown struck it rich and moved to Denver. I think the tour Jason presented has an insight into her personality and highlights where she came from. I think the name of the tour was Margaret "Molly"Brown Getting there or something along those lines. Jason S. if you see this could you provide the name of that tour you posted.
 

Inger Sheil

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In danger of veering off topic, but I'll put in a vote for women having more choice in what they wish to wear today, and frankly liking it that way. I don't think I could do my day to day job in the foundation garments required in pre-1920s clothing, even though I don't have a particularly physical career.

On the weekend I went to see Sydney FC play, and amused my friends by wearing a pretty light skirt and silver ballet slippers - not football going attire, apparently, but I had the choice to wear it rather than jeans and the sporting colours. On another day, I might have worn Monica's jeans and sweater - depending on weather and mood. I like being able to go running and doing other forms of exercise in modern wicking fabrics, and I like having freedom and comfort in casual and work wear. At the same time, I enjoy wearing a rich velvet dress with a fitted waist to work when the fancy takes me, or pretty light floral frocks in summer, and, of course, there are occasions when I wear my vintage dresses, including the foundations garments (and yes - they did have corsets in the 1920s, even if they weren't obligatory for all). I might have a short vintage 1920s dutch doll hair style, and I might sometimes wear androgynous clothes (although I do enjoy my accessories!), but as far as I know, no one who has met me has ever mistaken me for a fella.

On Mrs Brown's dress...I suspect it's not predominantly black. Her hat is interesting - it's not a 1920s cloche shape. The shape and angle she's wearing it at in the second photo reminds me more of the feminine fedora styles women wore in the 30s.
 
May 27, 2007
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Hi Inger,
Maybe Mrs. Brown's dress is a shiny black?

I don't think I could do my day to day job in the foundation garments required in pre-1920s clothing, even though I don't have a particularly physical career.

Why should you. Corsets are over rated. Corselets (Half Corsets) aren't much better.

Speaking of Corsets My Grandmother wore one in the 50's and I wonder if that had an effect on her abdominal wall which went all to hell in her 80's. You, see in all she had three C' sections in the 40's with all her children hence wreaking and scaring her abdomen. I'm sure those corselets didn't help any.

Moving on, Inger could you recommend a biography about Annette Kellerman.
 

Inger Sheil

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It could be a shiny black, George - I'm not much chop at identifying fabrics from photos. I'd have gone with the lamé options as it seems to have a metallic sheen to it - it doesn't look like any of the silks to me, and I can't see it as an organza or polished cotton - but I could be quite wrong. The hat and coat in the second photo confuse me - the dress itself looks like evening wear, but the coat and hat do not.

I think there's only one Annette bio - "The Original Million Dollar Mermaid" by Emily Gibson with Barbara Firth. Not a bad read at all, but very much a popular bio. I'd quite like to see her given a more academic treatment to complement the Gibson book. Annette's place in popular culture would make a fascinating read.
 
May 27, 2007
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It could be a shiny black, George - I'm not much chop at identifying fabrics from photos.
Nor am I alas. You probably have me beat though. I can usually tell the decade though of when a pictures taken. I hope.
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I'd quite like to see her given a more academic treatment to complement the Gibson book. Annette's place in popular culture would make a fascinating read.

That would be interesting. Will try to get the Million Dollar Mermaid.

By the way Inger,seeing how you like Silent Cinema and speaking of Silent Cinema check out the Ballyhoo Jazz topic. TCM (Turner Classic Movies) has a Silent Sunday every week during which they show a silent movie. I been posting names and title of movies and plot lines and reviews. I saw Helen Gardner in Cleopatra 1913 recently and last week Leaves From Satan's Book 1921 a Danish Silent. No Flappers as of yet
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, but interesting enough. I believe both movies are obscure, well to me anyways.
 

Grant Carman

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Jun 19, 2006
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I thought I would post a personal story.

My grandmother, who was a proper English Victorian lady, from the North East (Born in Sunderland, lived in Durham) of England.

Her idea of "proper dress", would have killed most weaker women I swear. We, as kids, found this out when one day at the family cottage, (my Nan came over every summer to visit, flew over, and took the Sylvania or a CP liner back to relax)my Nan fell in the water.

Now aside from the fact that where she fell in was only 3 feet deep, as a "full figured" woman it took 3 of us to get her standing upright. When we got her over to the cottage, she had to take off her summer outfit for it to dry out.

Now, for a proper Victorian lady, this was her summer outfit. From outside to inside.

Sweater, buttoned up

Dress, hemline at midpoint between knees and ankles, of cotton or linen

Wool stockings.

Camisole, of heavy cotton

Whalebone corset. yes, a real whalebone corset, and my poor sister had to lace her up in it. (my dad used to joke that if any of the whalebone stays had broken, they would have killed everyone within 10 feet)

Undershirt

Bra

Bloomers, preferably out of cotton or parachute silk.

Underpants

Shoes, lace up, ankle height.

And that was just for the summer. My grandparents only come over once for Christmas, and I was too young to remember the clothing. I do however, remember their reaction to a cold Canadian winter, and learned lots of new words that my parents DIDN"T want me to know.
 

Chad Goodwin

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Aug 2, 2006
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I remember my mom telling us about growing up in the 50s......a proper girl wore a sweater year round.......so many crinolines that her skirts stuck almost straight out..........potato sack undies( Granny was a seamstress)......gloves and a hat for certain social events.......and this was in Texas.......she said that back then the heat was totally not like today
 
May 1, 2004
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I've seen a few pictures of people at the turn of the 1900's at the beach, on the boardwalk and at the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition, in August). Aside from the sweater (My folk were wearing jackets, though some had left them off, exposing their shirts and shirtwaists), and the unmentionables, I saw exactly what Grant listed. I could see from their shapes that the ladies were corseted. I could not survive a summer day in Toronto in those clothes without fainting.
Grant's grandmother wore both brassiere and corset and both underpants and bloomers (Divided drawers? They're not as balloon like as bloomers - no gathered leg hems. They looked more like men's boxers, but with legs to just above the knees). The Edwardian women in the Sears catalog wore either the corset or the bra and rubber girdle. Divided drawers under the corset's chemise. (I could not see what was below the girdle. She may have been wearing panties.) A corset cover over the corset. (It resembles the camisole or top half of a modern slip, in cotton, buttoned.)
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>she said that back then the heat was totally not like today<<

Ya gotta love the selectiveness of nostalgia. Take a close look at The Good Old Days and they weren't that good...unless in this case you enjoy heatstroke.
 

Aly Jones

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Nov 22, 2008
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Chad that's funnie,My grandmother is an occansian women and in summer she turned Black.
She can only turn that black only with the sun was very hot and crispy,she was born in 1917 so it must of been really hot in summer after 1917 and before 1917!
 
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