View Full Version : Clothing Colors

05-03-2007, 07:11 PM
Ok... I used to have this great ettiquette book from the 1860's that had a whole entire section in it about colors of clothing and their appropriateness for children, adults, hair colors, skin colors, daytime and at the ball.

I can't recall what it said in it about daytime clothing for children. I want to start working on some dresses for my two daughters but am hitting a road block with what colors would have been appropriate for children under the age of 5. Much less what pattern the material should be.

It's difficult enough to find a child's pattern. Now I have to worry about all the rest of this.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Thank you!

05-04-2007, 06:25 AM
both my girls have blue gingham. they are 4 and 11.

as liz told me... light backgrounds with coloured motifs are perfect, just watch the size of the motif

05-04-2007, 08:33 AM
Dark backgrounds are fine, too--with children, you have a good wide range of colors and patterns open to you.

If you're using cottons, look at "arranged" prints with a small-to-medium size motif--something that looks fairly orderly, with the major motifs spaced out a tad, rather than dense florals of the 1930s, for instance, or 1980s Laura Ashley florals. An all-over background "pattern" of tiny dots ("picotage") with a small floral or geometric motif spread out will be quite typical, as will plaids and checks, and many other print styles. And, for "girly girls", there's the "double pink"--a normal period print style with a fairly simple background and motif, done with a pink background, and a darker pink motif laid on top.

What is the economic impression desired? The family background and situation influences children's wardrobes quite a lot.

What is the climate of most of your events? If it is hot, I'd look at fabrics that are no heavier than quilt-weight cottons... the lighter, the better, right down into sheer cottons.

Let us know on the impression and a bit on the personalities of the girls, and I'm sure we can be more helpful.

05-04-2007, 08:59 AM
As I know she won't say a word, let me do it for her :) . Finding period appropriate patterns for children is not hard at all, simply go to Elizabeth's website, she has patterns there. Voluminous (I am told) instruction pamphlets come with them.

05-05-2007, 01:16 PM
CrazyReb is right... Liz has an awesome website. if it werent for Liz I wouldnt have done half of what I have done..or if I did, none of it would be right. Her website has tons of info on it.

05-05-2007, 03:14 PM
You two are sweet. :) I'm glad you find the site useful! That's the goal! EFA, I do have a set of free clothing articles, and free instructions for things like basic petticoats and pinafores for little girls, in the Compendium section of the site in my signature file. They're PDF format, and totally free for the printing (and, there's a free paper doll there, too--great for modern daydreaming, though it's not in a period-enough format for use at history events.)

Back on topic: if you'll let us know a bit more about the impressions you'll be dressing the family for, we can be more helpful with fabric suggestions--you have a LOT of options!

05-09-2007, 07:29 PM
My husband's grandmother passed away this weekend so I've been out of the loop as far as the computer goes.

Most of the dresses that I have for myself would probably be considered middle to upper middle class/borderline well to do.

Thanks for your help thus far Elizabeth. I'll be checking out your site momentarily.

05-10-2007, 07:51 AM
I'm sorry for your family's loss.

Given the detail on the family's economic impression, then you'd be working with very fine sheer cottons, finest wools, and silks for the children, same as for your wardrobe, plus a range of hoops, good stockings, and fashionable bonnets as well.

05-11-2007, 09:29 AM
Ms Elizabeth (and everyone else)- Thank you for all of your help. It's been fun to research for my girls so that I can get their impression correct.
Any thoughts on where I could obtain a fine sheer cotton? That's been the one thing that I've had trouble finding .

05-11-2007, 01:09 PM
That can often take some hunting, but usually http://www.originals-by-kay.com has some nice yardage, as does http://www.thedressmakersshop.com

05-12-2007, 01:42 PM
I got mine at Dharma trading company (http://www.dharmatrading.com/html/eng/3501-AA.shtml). Granted its white and you'd need some colored silk acessories, but its still pretty cheap :)

05-20-2007, 07:08 PM
You can never go wrong with a solid color.....unless it is a pastel. Ok, let me rephrase that. You can never go wrong with a dark solid color.

05-21-2007, 10:28 AM
In silks and wools, the full gamut of solid color is open, particularly for children (which is what the original post requested)--everything from very pale shades to stronger colors.

Solid colors in cottons are far, far more rare (beyond white, which isn't really "a" color.) So if solids are wanted, I'd take the time to find them in silks and wools, to stay historically consistent.