Thursday 28 July 2011

A Year as a Victorian Lady - Yay or Nay?

So, you may have (probably not) noticed the distinct lack of my noisiness from here the last few days. This was due to a computer virus I was too cranky to fix until today. Anyway, it left me to think about an idea I've had for a few months now.

I was considering spending a year as a full-on, every day Victorian lady. As in, corsets and skirts and boleros, every day. I figured now would be a good time to propose it to you before I put it as a poll when the next one comes up. (oh yeah. vote on my poll. It's over there ~~~~> Notice the odd percentages given. 52+61+26=100 apparently?)

There are a lot of things that need to be considered in such a venture. Here they are.
It's not going to be cheap, being beautiful. However, i think it will give my sewing and budgeting skills quite a bit of exercise and practice.

Victoriana is not only beautiful, it's versitile - from a heavy goth, "my husband just died and i'm mourning" look, to a light "i am watching birds and using brass objects" look, I will never be short of ideas to wear. Not to mention hats.
Corsets are no doubt the most expensive thing on this list. However, after a few more purchases of some low-cost overbusts, and the ability to repair (since they will be hidden under clothes, they only need to be functional!), I think it will be an investment worth making. After a job is secured, I'm sure I can get some higher-quality ones too!
This is one of the things parents worry about with goth children - "But how will darling Foo-Foo get a job looking like that?!" Being a Victorian-era lady wouldn't actually be so bad, considering the amount of appropriate jobs - librarian, bookshop worker, baker, gallery or museum guide, high-end hooker, basically anything to do with art or science that has been around for a while. Anything without a strict uniform, basically, I could do just fine - and if I worked in a cafe, think of the aprons! Won't someone please think of the aprons! In saying that, while Melbourne is a lot less "derrrr" than this area, it might take some time - but I'm young, time is what I have!

I did mention hats before, but I thought it needed reiterating. i consider the Victorian era the Age of the Awesome Hats. Oh. Yeah, and bonnets. If I worked with food I could probably wear a bonnet and an apron. 

Que hat montage!

the amount of "yes" right there. :|
I thought this an appropriate example.
If I were to undertake this, I'd have one of four colours to pick: Very pale blonde, red, brown or black. Under the circumstances, I'll stick to blonde - but it would mean no more randomly changing my hair colour. A price I have to pay I suppose!

It would be an amazing experience, experimenting with very subtle techniques - very little eye makeup, a flawless foundation and red, purple or even blue lips! Very much a change from my norm - but a good change, and a fun one. It would also mean feather lashes and other gorgeous falsies for formal wear!
 I'd still get to swim. Why? I'd buy one of these.
That in itself is a perfect excuse!

The Blog
What it would mean for this blog is this: lots and lots of outfit pictures. Lots of them. Every day, hair, makeup and outfit. I would be sure to do all my research and take all ideas for new things.

Well, guys, weigh in - what do you think? And is there anyone who would like to join me in this new venture? Any Adora Bell Dearhearts?

I have a theory that this is actually Sophistique Noir
Seriously, look at a her. Compare to this. :|

Any Susan Sto Helits?

"A kind of Goth Mary Poppins"
Miss Potter, perhaps?

Or, perhaps, for the more daring: Miss Satine?

I would love to be supported and even joined in such a daring venture. Originally I was planning to do it after I got married, but at this point I'm rather like "oh, stuff this, cat, it's not happening".

Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. :D

Party on, goths - as much as your bustles will allow!

PS: Any guys willing to get into this will automatically be gods in my eyes. Ladies, prepare your gentlemen!


Niamh said...

WOW!!! I think its an amazing idea!!! I think you should go for it!

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Doll - I'll take that as a "yay" then? x3

Teresa said...

YOU NEED TO DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!! I'd join you, but I'm 13 and can't afford it so... Will you start making hats? Also, you might consider adding some lolita dresses in when you need to be able to do things you can't in a full victorian dress. Wow, I've never thought of lolita as toning it down...

CookingChinchillas said...

That would be such a great project. If you will be a Victorian Bakery Lady,I'll take the next plane to Australia and buy bread from you <3

Unknown said...

That would be amazing! Yay, I say!

Tenebris In Lux said...

I say go for it! :-D

I know another blogging lady (forgot her blog name) who dresses in vintage pin-up attire 24/7. She does everything right. I wonder how Dita got started .. hmmm .. I would imagine it would be a pricey hobby/lifestyle in itself.

Funny how we obsess over vintage goodies, and much later on they might be fascinated with this era? o_0

Captcha = humszygi

Hayley said...

I say yay for you! I could never do that now because I'm going into my senior year of high school where a good chunk of my time and money is going into applying to colleges. Something tells me this year I'm going to need a lot of black sweats...
Anyway, that sounds like a wonderful idea! I wish you all the luck on it!

Unknown said...

J FEGufgsfg !!!! OMFG SUSAN! <3

That looks really adorable - do it!!!

Be careful with false eyelashes though, if you work in the food & hospitality industry you might not be allowed to wear them. (I know they're pretty strict about it in SA)



catin anthill

lol whut?

VictorianKitty (Sophistique Noir) said...

Do it! And document it heavily. I want lots of pictures, daily!!

PS: I look like a broken image with a sad face? Aww. :(

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Teresa - don't worry. I have a lot of friends who make their own clothes, in a Little House on the Prairie style. Lolita isn't period-correct so I'd have to give it a miss. Plus, I could make an Alice in Wonderland dress, a little bit shorter, so I wouldn't have to wear a corset and I wouldn't be covered in skirt every day. If I get around to it I'll make you something!

Chinzilla - YES. :|

Catacomb - Hoorah. :3

Tenebris - Would that be Vixen Vintage? Also lol.

Hayley - Move to a country where you can actually go to a good school without being bankrupt. Seriously, in America it's like, "go to college or you're worthless! Nuts if you can't afford it, though, because if you're poor you're still worthless!"

Ophelia - dsrioghaksdgj SUSAN x3 0= you live in SA? But they would probably be mostly those little individual lashes, rather than obvious massive sets. Although I will wear those.


Amy Asphodel said...

GO Kitty GO GO GO!!!! I'm so doing this in 2012!!! <3

Ashlee said...

Do it! I would join, but I don't have the money to buy an entirely new wardrobe.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Amy - we'll set a date and start it together!

Ash - it's a lot easier than people think.

Stefanie - The Bookish Owl said...

That sounds completely awesome, obviously it wouldn't be 100% authentic because of modern day technology but I'd say about 80-90% authenticity :D

Captcha: likint XD

Mar Qaroll said...

DOOO IIIIT~! Have fun with it! Get as close to accuracy as possible! Awesome idea, I'm gonna try it one day myself...

E said...

...If I had the time and money to make myself a totally new wardrobe before December, I would so be in. As it is, I will just be watching from the sidelines and cheering you on as I sew my fifth bustle and daydream about steel-boned corsets. Best of luck with your adventurous undertaking!

Excerpts From Hell said...

I think you should do it.....

And if I had the money I would do it. I mean thats almost six months worth of sewing to get some nice things done before then.....but still not enough time to have enough clothes for all year :(

Anonymous said...

I'd love to do that, but I'd go insane having to dress Victorian everyday since I'm in school.
Having a long, flowing dressing in crowded halls isn't a sound idea...

Lady Catherine said...

Is that photo from Cranford?
Sorry, I can't stop talking about BBC victorian series...
But, only a year??
I'd love to live a whole Victorian/Regency life...

Gibson said...

Oh good luck!

Anonymous said...

This would be astouding. I was thinking of a way things would be a lot easier for you, with funds and carrying on your lifestyle and such and I thought, what about documenting it? I'm not a fan of reality shows, and I probably would never ever want to be on one, but if you hooked up with a producer you could make some money off it and get assitance in your victorian finest. And it wouldn't even have to be a show, even like an independent documentary or hour special.

Have you ever seen the 1900 house? It's a bit different but you get the idea.

You may have already considered it, but what the heck, it's a big deal. :D

kitty said...

I'd love to join in. :D living on a farm its not nessesarily practical- but.. well, why not? I could give menswear a go, to!

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Stephanie - well, we're talking 100% authenticity, aesthetic-wise. Of course, materials aren't going to be the same, and I will have to make things from lighter materials because, you know, Australia, not England.

Maeam - so far, it's Amy and I! Join in!

E - Well, you don't need a complete wardrobe. You just need to start sewing now, and by the time it's New Years, you'll have enough - just gotta keep making new stuff!

Excerpts - You and E both need to at least give it a go! If you spend every afternoon you're not working/at school, you'll be fine!

Anon - pft, of course it's a good idea! Just do what I always did, and go the long way. Plus you'd probably scare the shit out of people and they'd get out of your way, if you went for the Adora Bell Dearheart look (ie the "if you say 'adorable' i will be forced to shoot you anyway" look).

Lady Catherine - well, start with a year, then see how it goes. :D And I think it IS from cranford, although googling "victorian bonnets" was getting me nowhere so I googled "pride and prejudice bonnets" instead. XD

Gibson - :D

Boots - XD If you can get hold of an interesting producer, dear, then you're on. It would be less 'reality show' and more 'crazy lady wears cool clothes, yells at people'.



Teresa said...

How much does one victorian outfit (you make yourself) cost on average? (Trying to see if I can do this. Or at least make a few outfits.)

Bow ties? ... Would it still be considered victorian to wear a fez?

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

I wear a fez now. Fezes are cool.

It depends what I make it out of.

A metre of plain black material is about $6. Black velvet is about $9. Pinstripe is $9.

If you want this to be affordable, you need to consider the following you'll need for a basic outfit.

-corset (underbust or overbust, doesn't matter, and in saying that, you might be young enough to pass off as dressing as a child, which would be cool and totally complete a group!)
-a chemise or slip for under your corset
-a blouse (you can cheapskate this and buy a silk/satin blouse from any mum-business-store)
-a jacket or coat
-a petticoat
-a bum roll - i found a seller on Etsy, i'll link if you want, but they're pretty simple to make.
-an overskirt, with or without a bustle.

Again, depending on the age you're aiming for, it'll differ. I think you could maybe do a Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland aesthetic, age-wise - skirt above the ankle, no corset, lots of petticoat.

It doesn't ALL have to be handmade and such, you can often cheapskate things like shirts and jackets from businesswear stores and alter them to fit. It just has to look authentic - it doesn't have to be made by a pedal-operated Singer sewing machine.

Ashlee said...

I don't think my last comment went through?

I really want to join you, and I'm going to see if I can make it happen.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Ash - hooray! it'd be great to have you join in. We'd have to put up some kind of community or something where we could all get in contact over things. Going to post some useful links for patterns up soon!

Ashlee said...

Something like a forum? That would be rather useful.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

It would have to depend. Maybe a facebook group would work, since they have discussion forums.

Ashlee said...

Hmm... that would require making a FaceBook account, but whatever you think would work best I'll join.

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

All in due time. We will probably create the group (wherever it may be) 3 or so months before the start date.

Nikoal said...

Sigh, I'm going to dream about my 2012 wardrobe tonight <3
I love a challenge, it's brilliant! I'm in :)

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Nikoal - yewwww. :D

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Nikoal - yewwww. :D

Anonymous said...

I would love to do it but I'm 13 and my mum's already getting fed up of my wardrobe.
Also I live in Spain wich means awful weather.
If I try to wear so much layers I'll probably die
Any suggestions??

Kitty Lovett; The Unadulterated Cat said...

Do some research on 1800s Spanish fashion - i'm sure you'll find some cool stuff!

Anonymous said...

I had an idea, anyway.
Victorian fashion changed very much, so they are periods...
Maybe each one of us could dress in different types of Victorian Fashion.
In the early XIXth century they wore:
Then is the big dress period, maybe this period:
and the ''dress like a guy'' period

Anonymous said...

They dressed pretty much the same :C

Stephanie said...

Go for it! And, by the way, I ALWAYS think about the aprons! I work in a kitchen and try to have a 50s feel, haha. Great idea. <3

Excerpts From Hell said...

I need to get on making new stuff anyways......I might just do this. If nothing else I'll try and have one victorian esque thing a day :)

Adrienne C. Storm said...

I'd love to do this! It's so crazy, I actually already decided I was going to dress in Victoriana for a while. I stumbled upon this site while I was looking for suitable hats. And guess what I found? Finally a bunch of other people who want to do it too! Yay! I'm in! :D

Sakara said...

Sounds a wonderful idea, Victorian fashion has so many eras to choose from!

One thing id recommend if you plan to wear a corset every day for a year is invest in a custom made corset. One that will be always comfortable and healthy. A off the shelf corset might feel ok to wear for short periods of time, but might in the long run do you more harm as the boning might sit in the wrong place, it might put your back into a wrong curve etc etc. Where as a custom corset will hold you in, support your spine and be comfortable all day and every day. Second wear a chemise under the corset. Victorians never wore corsets on bare skin (only hussies did that lol) This will protect the corset fabric and help in keeping it clean

Oh and lastly a well to do victorian woman wouldnt wear much makeup at was unbecoming.A little rouge on the lips and rubbed onto the cheeks was pretty much it. Actresses and performers wore more makep, but were seen as lesser women, but if you go for the actress look (satine for example) then you can get away with some makeup.

Really looking forward to seeing pictures of this endevour. I love victorian style so much - mainly 1884 onwards.

Kiyotea said...

Oh my gosh, I would love this! The only problems are:
1. I'm 16. UGH SCHOOL.
2. I'm a guy, but I don't want to wear trousers (dresses and/or crossdressing FTW!)
But I do like what someone said, to try to have something victorian everyday. Or, I might do this when I get older, and don't have classes to attend on a daily basis...
I hope you do it, I'm rooting for your success! YAY!

Aelfcynn said...

I want in on this.

Trinidy Patterson said...

I really really REALLY want to do this.
But, I have a mohawk, and it is currently (and remaining) Turquoise.
I'm really considering chiming in every now and then though.
I love this idea.

Danielle Fiore said...

oh, how lovely! I have the first black hat but without veil! :)


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