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TineGuth
05-13-2007, 12:42 PM
Hello,
I was wondering if anyone would be able to help me. I am starting to do reenactments as a widow in the second stage of mourning. Can anyone help me with the styles women would have been allowed to wear during this time. Any help you could give me would be most appreciated. Thank you.
Christine

NoahBriggs
05-13-2007, 02:22 PM
Welcome to the forum! I think one of the best ways to help you out would be to direct you to the Sewing Academy forum, specifically the Women's section in "dresses". Over in that spot you will find several discussions regarding mourning wear.

http://thesewingacademy.org/

You might also use the search function on this board. I am certain the discussion has come up several times before here, as well.

ElizabethClark
05-13-2007, 04:50 PM
Christine, what things do you have in your wardrobe currently, or are you starting from the skin out? The basics will be the same: white chemises and drawers, corset, skirt support, white petticoats. The styles of dress and fabrics used will depend a lot on your overall economic impression--what sort of widow will you be?

TineGuth
05-13-2007, 10:22 PM
Well I'm starting from the skin out as you said. I don't have anything yet. I was thinking about being a middle class widow.

ElizabethClark
05-14-2007, 06:37 AM
Will you share your ideas of what "middle class" professions your husband might have had? I find that different individuals have different opinions of what "middle class" is, but that information more specifically geared to a profession and region/town is generally pretty helpful.

TineGuth
05-14-2007, 09:34 PM
I haven't really thought or read too much into that yet. Like I've said I'm just starting out. I guess I need more help then i realized... :oops:

ElizabethClark
05-14-2007, 09:52 PM
It's all part of the process! Don't be afraid to ask the questions, or you'll never learn what you want to know. Everyone who's ever developed an impression goes through the same process, so you're in good company. :)

Starting with a mourning impression can actually be very difficult. You might look at starting with a "generic" impression--follow your passion and read up on lives of everyday women, how households worked, what professions and jobs were open to women, how education works--things that strike you as interesting. All of it becomes the background for your "generic" impression of an average, everyday person. As you get your base wardrobe settled in, and get comfortable with the process of research, reading, questioning, etc, then you'll find that expanding this all into portraying a person in mourning will be quite natural.

Are you in an area with some good citizen-focused groups? You might really enjoy an in-person mentor, as well as those of us on-line who are very willing to help you find the information you want.

TineGuth
05-14-2007, 10:17 PM
Elizabeth,
Thank you for your information. I guess I am kinda of jumping in head first. I will continue to read up on the subject and learn all that I can about it. I am starting in a group that is run from the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. Thank you again for your help.
Christine

Sartorius
06-11-2007, 11:34 AM
Christine,
Just yesterday my wife was trying hard to convince me to buy her the "Light or Half Mourning Bonnet" we saw in "La Belle Femme" on Steinwehr Ave in Gettysburg. (She didn't ;-) )Anyway, she describes it as a, "beautifully made black crepe spoon bonnet, with light lavender silk chin ties and a lovely group of small lavender flowers under the brim". It was supposedly for ladies who were reentering society and attending social gatherings near the end of a mourning period, when some color was allowed in the widows wardrobe. You might want to contact them, the young lady seemed very knowledgeable. Good Luck!
Sartorius (and the Mrs.!)

bizzilizzit
06-11-2007, 07:26 PM
Elizabeth,
Thank you for your information. I guess I am kinda of jumping in head first. I will continue to read up on the subject and learn all that I can about it. I am starting in a group that is run from the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. Thank you again for your help.
Christine

Christine,
PM me. I live in Columbus and I think I know the group you are with.