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Vintage Style In A Modern World

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Gail Carriger Suggests an Excellent Article & Podcast on Feathered Hats & MURDER


Hello fashionable readers, here's something fun for you!

Fun article:
Murderous Millinery: A brief look at the fashion for feathered hats in the early 20th century

Gail Carriger Suggests an Excellent Article & Podcast on Feathered Hats & MURDER

And a companion podcast on the subject:  Murderous Millinery

I do love hats, despite their murderous intentions.

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves


I have a vast glove collection, Fashionable Reader. My hands are just small enough to wear vintage gloves (well, some of them) and I adore gloves. I wear them for all my events.

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves

I have perpetually cold hands, you see. Even if it's warm out, my hands tend to be cold. I come by my bad circulation naturally, thank you very much.

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves

Anyhoo, I also believe that gloves keep me from getting sick from glad-handing at events. So you will almost always see me wearing them.

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves

Recently, I decided it was time to sort through the collection. I find I wear leather way more frequently than other materials of glove. Also, I was just using some gloves more than others. So I decided it was time to get rid of a few. (I'm on a big purge kick at the moment.)

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves

Here are some of the ones I've decided to get rid of. They will be part of goodie boxes via the Chirrup.

As you can see, both the green one I'm wearing in the first picture and the white ones in the second are on the chopping block.

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage GlovesGail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves

I'll be giving them away inside various Chirrup goodie boxes over the next year or so. You have to join to enter.

"Never put on another person's gloves."
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

And now, a retrospective on gloves...


For Mrs Loontwill in her debut days...


Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves
1800-1810  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Monique in the Finishing School series...


Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves
Evening Gloves  1830-1835  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Ivy in the Parasol Protectorate series...


Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves
Evening Gloves  1880-1900  The Victoria & Albert Museum

For Primrose in the Custard Protocol series...


Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves
1895-1900  The Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg2

For Gail...

Gail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage Gloves
1955  The Philadelphia Museum of Art

"It is not admissible to try on kid gloves in a store. After buying a pair, ask for the glove-stretcher, (which they keep in all good shops, for the convenience of customers,) and then stretch the gloves upon it, unless you have a glove-stretcher at home. This will render them easy to put on when you take them into wear."
~ The Ladies' Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book
by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.

Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger



"And yet here he was, if one could credit one's senses, about to take part in a fancy-dress ball, a form of entertainment notoriously a testing experience for the toughest. And he was attending that fancy-dress ball, mark you—not, like every other well-bred Englishman, as a Pierrot, but as Mephistopheles—this involving, as I need scarcely stress, not only scarlet tights but a pretty frightful false beard."
~ Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
via gravesandghouls tumblr, Victorian costumes c. 1880s (Source: vintagegal)
Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
Fancy Dress, 1874

Fancy dress costumes were very popular in the Victorian era, Fashionable Reader. There were follies, masquerades, fancy dress balls, not to mention a variety of other events that might call for a costume of some kind or another. I feature a fancy dress ball in the Finishing School books and I'm contemplating what might happen if Lord Akeldama decided to throw one. However the Victorian approach to fancy dress was quirky to say the least. Here are a few examples...

Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
folly  costume via realhistoricalpatterns tumblr

Classic jester costume, also the domino were both, extremely popular in the Victorian era.


Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
  antique-royals-TUMBLR 1860s 

via Bizarre Victorian fact of the day…

A traditional Halloween custom which was practised across Britain (particularly in rural areas) in the Victorian period was for groups of people (of all ages) to don strange costumes and go door-to-door in the hopes of receiving food or gifts, or of causing a bit of mischief. This custom had a huge number of regional variations. On the Shetland Islands the ‘skeklers’ wore tall pointy hats and voluminous costumes made of straw. In Montgomeryshire in Wales men dressed themselves as ‘gwrachod’ (an ancient Welsh hag-like monster) by putting on ragged clothes, sheepskins and masks. They went through their neighbourhood frightening children and being rude to adults. Young people in Glamorgan cross-dressed and went from house to house singing riddles, while ‘guisers’ in Scotland with masked, blackened, or painted faces chanted rhymes like:

    Tramp, tramp, the boys are marching
    We are the guisers at the door,
    If you dinna let us in, we will bash yer windows in,
    And you’ll never see the guisers any more.


Source: victorianfanguide


Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
gardener costume via realhistoricalpatterns tumblr

Aristocratic Victorians loved to play the poor, particularly the romanticized country poor. In addition to gardeners, milk maids, peasant girls, shepherds and shepherdesses were quite popular.

Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
page costume via realhistoricalpatterns tumblr

There was also and interesting take on cross dressing that occasionally appeared. There's a certain romantic notion and of the beautiful page boy, almost gender neutral and certainly gender bending that made this archetypal character open season for men or women. Maxfield Parrish capitalized on this with some of his work using a female model for many of his pages and princes etc...

Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
rose costume via realhistoricalpatterns tumblr

Objects were also open season. And an idea I kind of love. Above we see a young lady dressed as a rose garden, or rose bouquet. Bellow is one dressed as a... waste basket. I may have to put that into one of my stories.

Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
waste basket costume via realhistoricalpatterns tumblr
Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
via eccentric victorian on tumblr
Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
“Scrap Book” 1890 National Gallery Victoria
Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
“The Dirigible” via OMG That Dress tumblr

Other cultures were also popular, as were historical figures. Always keeping in mind the Victorian silhouette. You'll not that while masks were popular grotesque make up was not. Victorians might theme a masquerade to a particular place or time period or even a famous author, Shakespeare characters, for example, might be a theme.

Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
Fancy Dress Costume Charles Fredrick Worth, 1870 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
via weirdvintage-tumblr Bird girls of Szegeden, Hungary, 1880s (via Vintage Photo)


Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
via Old Photos & Bacon☣ @photosandbacon


I have a lot of fun imagining how a costume party in my steampunk Victorian era might look. Can you imagine people coming dressed as trains, or dirigibles? Or werewolves or vampires for that matter. I may have to write a short story about this at some point.
Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
White Witch Costume 1885 Kerry Taylor Auctions

Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
“Folly” fancy dress costume 1890 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

And something a little more to my personal taste...


Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
Halloween Bombshell Veronica Lake

Fancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail Carriger
Halloween Bombshell, Myrna Loy
Myrna was best known for her role as Nora Charles
in the 1930's The Thin Man movies
Bollywood Steampunk


Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

You can shop my recommendations via the following lists:
Steampunk, Retro Jewelry, Makeup, Retro Clothes, Lifestyle


Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I get a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.
Gail Carriger Suggests an Excellent Article & Podcast on Feathered Hats & MURDERGail Carriger is Purging... Gloves? All About Vintage GlovesFancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween with Gail CarrigerFancy Dress Costumes ~ The Victorian Halloween from Gail Carriger Book Cover Inspiration ~ Green from Germany's Blameless by Gail CarrigerGail Carriger in a Rouched Black Cocktail Dress in DC for the Waistcoats & Weaponry TourFans For Sophronia ~ A Historical Retrospective from Gail CarrigerBook Outfits in Blue ~ German & French Covers of Soulless by Gail Carriger

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