Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Minuet of 1903

Another edition in the continuing series on fasteners is the skirt and waist holder.  For those of you who have correctly worn such garments the dilemma is clear:  through normal movement the waist, or blouse, becomes untucked from the skirt and you begin to look untidy.  This is usually solved by sewing hooks on the skirt on either side of the center back which fasten to either metal or thread loops on the waist.  These are necessary when wearing clothing of the 1890's through 1910's with a corset.  The silhouette was of a waist that was higher in the back than in the front. Blouses were worn with long ties coming from the center back which tied in the front and gathered and controlled the pouff of extra fabric.  The skirt went on over these ties, hiding them and was raised up in the back by hooking to the eyes on the blouse.  This gave a graceful swing to the back of the skirt and the correct sway-backed silhouette to the body.  It just doesn't look right without the proper corset, and when you see blouses of this era being shown in museums and clothing collections on the outside of the skirt with ties showing it is sloppy and wrong.  It's like bra straps showing.

I have never seen a garment with The Minuet sewn into it, but it is such a great idea!  Check out this ad in The Delineator from August of 1903.  The accompanying article "Fashions for Elderly Ladies" has some beautiful illustrations and there are some wonderful full-color fashion plates elsewhere in the magazine.  I didn't know Google had any copies of The Delineator, but now I can browse to my heart's content.

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