Look At Those Clothes!

Musings on style and fashion

“Excuse me, but I’ve got to go change my clothes . . .”

Guess how many times late-19th-century ladies had to change their clothes?

Photo by Duboix

Photo by Duboix

Yes, indeed, a whole 8 times! (Or sometimes 7, depending upon the circumstances, possibly including exhaustion from the first 6 changes.)

Here are the presto change-o’s that “society” demanded of wealthy ladies:

  • Morning gown
  • Afternoon tea gown
  • Visiting dress
  • Evening dress (for the theater, don’t you know)
  • Ball gown
  • Dinner dress
  • Home gown (for before bed)
  • Night gown

And this was before washing machines, dryers, and dry cleaners. (Or walk-in closets— where the heck did they keep all this stuff?!?)

No doubt some ladies enjoyed all the fussing around, some hated it and did it anyway, and a few told “society” to take a hike and wore whatever they pleased from morning to night. Those are the ones I’d like to meet!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must change into my home gown. So not.



Categories: Fashion & History

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