Farm Fashion 19th Century

Jules Adolphe Breton, The Gleaner, Denver Art Museum

Jules Adolphe Breton, The Gleaner, Denver Art Museum

As many of you know I have a small farm thing going on. Despite the freedom of wearing insulated overalls to work everyday I’m often pulled into the fantasy of skirts. So today instead of bringing you dead pigeons and war, let’s look at fashion.

The Dinner Horn, Winslow Homer

The Dinner Horn, Winslow Homer

I tried this look. At the thrift store I found a beautiful white prairie skirt. It was huge so I pleated it in the back to sort of look like a bustle. My husband smiled the first time I went out to walk the goats in it. Do I need to tell you how dirty it was after the goat kids mauled me with love? I couldn’t even enjoy their affection.

The Milk Maid, Winslow Homer. As always Winslow is my guy.

The Milk Maid, Winslow Homer. As always Winslow is my guy.

If you notice the rooster is eying the milk maid’s ankles. Not a good thing. Where are her muck boots when she needs them? Granted they’d look terrible with the pink dress. Here’s my issue: How do you keep the skirt from being stepped on when your milking?

A Pinterest find. Anyone know the painter?

A Pinterest find. Anyone know the painter?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, here’s an outfit I think I could do. By the way, if any of you have an old pair of wooden clogs size 8 American I’d gladly take them off your hands.The dark skirt and jacket are almost stylish–but you definitely need the clogs to make it work. Adorable apron as well. Sign me up (Oh yeah. The Rooster).

Frederick Walker The Old Farm Garden 1871

Frederick Walker The Old Farm Garden 1871

I can’t imagine anyone looking bad in this dress, but did she really garden in it? I think not. But maybe I’m wrong. We find a similar dress on this pretty girl gathering eggs . . .

Fresh Eggs, by Winslow again.

Fresh Eggs, by Winslow again.

When you’re done farming for the day you can go off with your significant other as long as he’s wearing his hat with a feather.

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” Edgar Allan Poe

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“In some Asian societies dating back to ancient times, and in Europe during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, fair skin was considered very attractive because it was thought to indicate wealth and high social status, as being tanned meant that one was obligated to work in the fields for one’s livelihood. Similarly, the powdered white wig worn by American colonial era illuminati reflected the wearer’s ability to afford luxury items and identified him as one of the educated elite.

courtesy pinterest

courtesy pinterest

“Nevertheless, in nineteenth-century America, albinism was considered such a bizarre trait that people with this condition were exhibited in circus sideshows. Furthermore, with the advent of the camera, these individuals were featured on postcards which were widely distributed and collected from the 1870s-’90s.” Albinism.org

19th century musical albinos

Albinism in popular culture

19th century albino hair

Ready to Wear Clothing

Looking pretty snazzy . . .

Looking pretty snazzy . . .

“In the 1800s, cowboys and other manual laborers wore what was called “ready-to-wear” — second-hand clothing that had been discarded by the higher classes.

With few exceptions (such as military uniforms), new clothing was not mass produced back then. If you wanted an outfit, you went to a tailor, who measured you and custom-made the shirt, suit, trousers, coat, or whatever. If you out-grew your duds or just got tired of them, you might sell them to a second-hand (or ready-to-wear) store, where they would be bought by folks who needed inexpensive clothes for work.

That’s why you’d often see cowhands riding the range wearing a suit coat or vest and dress pants (rather than jeans). Also, many veterans continued to wear parts of their former uniforms for work.

By the way, did you ever wonder why chimney sweeps usually wore top hats and tuxedos? Well, the fancier the clothes were, the harder they were to re-sell… and the lower the second-hand price. Chimney soot was tough on clothes, so a black tux at a rock-bottom price was just what the sweep needed!” Cowboy Bob