I wanted to share an article I just read on another popular blog site called Two Nerdy History Girls. Every so often, they post something related to late 17th-century culture. Their most recent article, More Fashions for the Gentlemen: 1700 vs. 1800, compares how men dressed and behaved fashionably in two different centuries.
The article, which you can visit at the link above, includes a wonderful engraving comparing men’s fashion trends in 1700 and 1800! In today’s culture, there is a widespread idea that fashion is inherently feminine, and that men generally do not want to follow or practice fashion (although this is completely untrue, as guys follow trends just as much as the ladies). This image illustrates several important fashion differences – the article discusses how their behavior, posture, attention to detail, and accessories change based on what was considered fashionable!
Click on the image to enlarge, and see if you can pick out what’s different! Feel free to share your observations in the comments. Thanks to the Two Nerdy History Girls and their interesting articles!
Last weekend, during our annual spring Interpreter training, I shared an amazing BBC mini-series on 17th-century farm life, and I wanted to make sure everyone else got to hear about it too!
(I’ve actually already shared it a couple of times on this blog, including a recent article about stuffing straw mattresses. But this is a tv series any history buff should not miss, so I couldn’t resist re-posting a link!!)
The series, called Tales From the Green Valley, follows 5 historians and archaeologists as they live on a real 17th-century Welsh farm and perform the daily activities required to survive. Unfortunately the series is not available on DVD in US-format, but luckily all 12 episodes are available onDaily Motion:*
These 12 episodes, one for every month of the year, offers a marvelous inside look at the daily lives of Stuart-era English farmers. They follow the agricultural year and show how much life was influenced by the seasons, in ways that modern society hardly notices anymore.
Throughout the year, we’ll be sharing more posts on seasonal activities, so stay tuned!
Hannah Howard, Volunteer Coordinator
*No copyright infringement intended, used for purely educational purposes
Our Ladies’ Dressing Guide post back in September has been the most viewed featurette on this blog -wow!! I am really excited to finally be able to offer a follow-up for the guys… our clothing collection for the male interpreters is starting to grow, and I encourage our volunteers start using some of the new pieces this spring! Keep in mind that people’s jobs and station in life would change how they dressed (see our post on Clothing Diversity), but this will give a good idea of a basic outfit.
It is so easy to get caught up in creating the ULTIMATE historical ensemble. We worry about perfecting every detail, down to the smallest buttons and buckles. When costumiers get so caught up in recreating one outfit, it’s easy to forget just how diverse the clothing options actually were! We can’t just recreate one look (as we have done here) and think it will work for all people of all levels in society. Think about the modern world – we can tell a lot about a person’s job or life based on their clothing. Business men and women dress differently than artists or plumbers or teachers or politicians or… well, you get the picture.
So it’s our job as historians to research how those same clothing differences played out 300 years ago. We are developing job-specific costumes for the staff and volunteer interpreters recreating circa 1700 Pennsbury Manor, and working to increase our clothing collection with enough sizes to outfit everyone in the garments they need. Over the next few months, I’ll be posting in-depth tutorials for the different ensembles, but in the meantime I wanted to give you a sneak peak at our work…. enjoy!!
Many of you may not realize how much time and research goes into crafting the historical outfits worn by our Pennsbury Manor Interpreters. These reproductions are all based on original artifacts, paintings, and sketches in order to honor the people whose stories we tell. It’s a constant evolution, but we are working very hard to make sure each item (down to your pins and socks!) are as close as we can get to 17th-century originals. In many cases, we try to copy the same styles and silhouettes as real 17th-century people, as we have done here with this 1687 London strawberry seller: