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