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Travelling Light ~ How To Make Many Outfits From One Suit by Gail Carriger


So I thought you might like to see how I pack light, Gentle Reader

Here I have a favorite (now passed along) black and white 1950s check suit parsed out and worn many different ways with many different layers...



Travelling Light ~ How To Make Many Outfits From One Suit by Gail Carriger Travelling Light ~ How To Make Many Outfits From One Suit by Gail Carriger

There it is, multiple looks for multiple weather from one suit.


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.

Beautiful Dresses for Rue & Prim in the Custard Protocol Books, from Harper's Bazaar 1891 from Gail Carriger


I have this lovely Harper's Bazaar from 1891, given to me by a lovely reader. I finally got around to scanning some of the images. Here are a few for you, the kind of things Rue & Prim might wear in the Custard Protocol series.

Beautiful Dresses for Rue & Prim in the Custard Protocol Books, from Harper's Bazaar 1891 from Gail Carriger

Beautiful Dresses for Rue & Prim in the Custard Protocol Books, from Harper's Bazaar 1891 from Gail Carriger

Beautiful Dresses for Rue & Prim in the Custard Protocol Books, from Harper's Bazaar 1891 from Gail Carriger


Beautiful Dresses for Rue & Prim in the Custard Protocol Books, from Harper's Bazaar 1891 from Gail Carriger

Beautiful Dresses for Rue & Prim in the Custard Protocol Books, from Harper's Bazaar 1891 from Gail Carriger


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.

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)



The third book in my Custard Protocol series is out now!  This book is set in the mid 1890s and I have concocted a pictorial guide to a possible outfit that a young lady of Prim's rank might wear during this time period.

The images run with what she would need to put on, in order. Ready? Here we go...

On the bottom half:


Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
1. 1890  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
2. 1890s Stockings The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
3. 1899 Garters  1899  The Chicago History Museum

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
4. 1895-1905 Oxfords   The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Note that shoes have to go on early? Well before the corset and also the rest of the dress for bending and hemming reasons.


Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Combination  1890s  The Metropolitan Museum of Ar

Combinations are a hard one for me, as an author. Because they were totally UBIQUITOUS undergarments at the time of the Custard Protocol books. They were the most common form of underwear. However, the name and the concept is entirely lost to the modern mind set. Most of my readers would have no basis for comparison should I drop the word "combination" into, for example, a shape change or a nookie scene. I must, therefore, use the word in correct context so as to make it clear that is what the character is wearing. Or have it described to another foriegn character. And yet, it's not something that would be described. So I have to have said foreigner describe it and everyone else get embarrassed. Oh! I like that. Forget I said anything, OK?

On the upper half:


Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Bust Improvers  1890s  Whitaker Auction

Prim wouldn't need these, but I include them because I think its so fun that they exist at all!

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
5. Camisol  1895-1905  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
6. 1893  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
7. Sleeve Supports  1890s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And over the top:

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
8. 1895  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
9. 1894 Evening Dress  Charles Fredrick Worth, 1894  The Kyoto Costume Institute

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
10. 1890s  The Goldstein Museum of Design

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
11. 1895-1905  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
12. Muff and Hat  1890s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Alternatively, here's a look at more sporty options...


Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Stockings  1890s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Combinations undergarment, England, 1875 - 1900

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Corset 1890s Summer Corset   The Victoria & Albert Museu

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Corset Cover  1895-1900  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And sportswear on the outside:


Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Gym Suit  1895-1899  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Cycling Ensemble  1895  The Kyoto Costume Institute

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Shirtwaist 1894 The Museum at FIT _ OMG that dress!

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
1890s Under The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Travel Suit  Jacques Doucet, 1895  The Victoria & Albert Museum

You don't have to take the pictures as proof. Here's some research to back it up...

Gwen Raverat at the end of the century describes the modest dress of a respectable female.

"Women were incredibly modest . . .  even with each other. You could see a friend in her petticoat, but nothing below that was considered decent. At school, the sidht of a person in her white frilly drawers caused shrieks of outraged virtue; and I should have thought it impossible to be seen downstairs in my dressing-gown."

~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. 269)

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
americangothgirl-tumblr Catalog Photographs, Front and Back Views of Woman In Corset, c. 1880s. Albumen Prints

"This is what a young lady wore, with whom I shared a room one night...

  1. Thick, long-legged woolen combinations.
  2. Over them, white cotton combinations, with plenty of buttons and frills.
  3. Very serious, bony, grey stays, with suspenders.
  4. Black woolen stockings.
  5. White cotton drawers, with buttons and frills.
  6. White cotton 'petticoat-bodice', with embroidery, buttons and frills.
  7. Rather short, white flannel, petticoat.
  8. Long alpaca petticoat, with a flounce round the bottom.
  9. Pink flannel blouse.
  10. High, starched, white collar, fastened on with studs.
  11. Navy blue tie.
  12. Blue skirt, touching the ground, and fastened tightly to the blouse with a safety-pin behind.
  13. Leather belt, very tight.
  14. High button boots."
  ~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. 269)

Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
Undergarments ca. 1900-03  From the FIDM Museum


Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)Competence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)
 1898 Walking Suit, House of Worth, French, Made of silk and lace


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's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ San Diego Polka Dots


For my visit to San Diego I planned to wear this polka dot black & white dress with red accessories. Thank heavens I did, because what with layovers and delays I ended up having to change in a plane restroom and run through SDCC. This is one of my few dresses that can take that kind of abuse and still come out looking fresh the other end. My dear old friend Polly Ester. Can't remember where I got it but I'm thinking something strange like Burlington Coat Factory or Ross Junior or what have you. I've had it forever. Hard to let something go that packs so well and goes with everything. (Similar $25, similar sleeveless $30 lots of options, and similar plus size $27.)

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ San Diego Polka Dots
At Mysterious Galaxy, me giving strict instructions to "get the shoes."
For both events I paired it with a headband that's black with red dots (modern, similar $14), red beaded necklace set (vintage, similar strand $13, similar earrings $8), obligatory pen necklace (modern replica, $18), and a pair of Via Spiga suede sandals that I got about 10 years ago (no longer available, similar pumps $20-50). The gloves are much treasured red leather vintage, gift from a friend, (similar $30).

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ San Diego Polka Dots
In the booth signing at Comic Con. Proof I was there if only for 2 hours.

Gifted along the way on this tour (possibly in Portland?) was a scarf very similar to this one, grey background with big ladybugs. I love it! You'll see me wearing it often.

Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ San Diego Polka Dots

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

You can visit the following shopping lists: Travel Dork, My Steampunk, My Wardrobe.
Product links on this blog are usually to Amazon using my associate code. At no additional cost to you this means I gets a slight kick back if you make a purchase. Thank you! This allows me to continue to produce this blog without sponsors.
Travelling Light ~ How To Make Many Outfits From One Suit by Gail Carriger Beautiful Dresses for Rue & Prim in the Custard Protocol Books, from Harper's Bazaar 1891 from Gail CarrigerCompetence DVD Extras: Dressing Primrose From the Foundation Up (Gail Carriger's Research Behind the Custard Protocol Series)Gail Carriger's Imprudence Tour Outfit ~ San Diego Polka DotsThen & Now ~ Beige Suit with Velvet DetailsGail Carriger's Book Tour Outfits ~ Team Purple!Gail Carriger Talks Fashion From England 2014 ~ Ketchup SquirtMy Long Haul Flight Essentials by Gail Carriger 13 Essentials in Gail Carriger's On the Go Fashion Emergency Kit

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