Welcome to the Pragmatic Costumer! This is my virtual receptionist. :)

Here is the text version of her little speech:
Welcome to the Pragmatic Costumer! This blog and the accompanying Facebook page are full of costuming tips, tricks, and research from many different time periods.
If you are looking for something specific, you can use the navigation pane on the right to search blog entries by type, era, or date. Use the search box to look for keywords, like “17th Century” or “Victorian Corsets.”
If you have any questions or requests for topics, please message me through Facebook or leave a comment. I love to hear from you, and hope you enjoy learning more about the history of fashion!

7 Responses to “A Welcome Message”

  1. Elwing Jong Says:

    Hello Nell! I am really enjoying your blog, and I think that maybe, I may have something to add to it. I’m Dutch, and I have some minor knowledge about traditional Dutch folk costume (“Klederdracht”). This may be of interest to you, because folk costume sometimes preserves concepts that have been lost in main stream fashions centuries ago. I have a youtube video for you of ladies from the town of Spakenburg doing a course on how to dress up in the costumes of their moms and grand moms. I’m happy to translate if you like me to, but for now notice how many layers there are to this costume. Everything is separate, the sleeves, the stomacher, and lots of skirts and pads. The flowery, starched fabrics used for the shoulder pieces (“kraplap”) are based on “sitsen” prints that were imported from India in the 1600’s. Here’s the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k1E8KvtR-Y

    I think that a mistake some re-enactors make about pre-1800 costumes is that they do not understand that these were made up from many more layers and pieces than we would use today. They were mix and match, so to speak, put together with pins and ribbons, and the Spakenburg costume is still made up this way.

    Some older ladies still wear this every day, but the custom is dying out fast. What is also is of interest is the colours used, the red kraplappen are a prerogative of women living in joy; those in mourning had to wear blacks, greys, purples and blues, in a decreasing system!
    It all looks awfully constrictive, and the woman named Diane Hop tells us that it is pretty comfortable at first, but at the end of the day she is glad to get out of all of it.
    The Spakenburg women following the course want to preserve their tradition, but it also mentioned that some want to help their elderly relatives who can no longer dress in klederdracht themselves. So that they can preserve their dignity, and get back their cultural identity.
    Let me know if you want more of this video translated, and keep up the excellent work!

    PS. here’s a picture of two Spakenburg ladies, the left in mourning, the right in lighter mourning. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uC6mloA30Ac/TiYJDNA8IVI/AAAAAAAAQaM/TyDtGzdnf88/s1600/1e%2BSpakenb%2Bdag%2B2010%2B066%25281%2529.jpg
    PPS. the children may be boys!

  2. Carol Larimer Says:

    Nell, Please tell me more about the lovely 1840s portrait of the woman in the floral headpiece that you posted. Where you found the image, who the painter or sitter were — any clues would be appreciated. Thank you! Love your pages! – Cal

    • Liz Says:

      Hello! I do not know exactly which picture you are referring to, but if you found it in one of my posts, the pictures are usually linked to their original source that will give you more information about the photo. Just click on the picture to see its linked webpage.

  3. Carol Larimer Says:

    Thank you, Nell; ‘didn’t realize the information was so easily available. I may have an original oil painting of the same woman, several decades later. When/if I learn more, I’ll let you know! Many thanks for this possible lead. I call her “Emma.” – Cal

  4. John Keith Says:

    I found a pair of fold out specs that are 18 caret gold. They have no ear arms i have no clue what era they are from. They are in extremely great condition. My number is 1520-301-1495 i would like to send you a picture of them and see what you have to say. Please help me if you can. Thank you.
    John Keith

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