Costume and body shapes

Quite a few blogs ago, I shared some pictures of the cast at Jane Austen’s House Museum, when we were performing scenes from Pride and Prejudice.

We had lovely, accurate costumes loaned to us – however that does not mean it was easy! I very soon realised that my body shape is not particularly suited to the empire lines of Georgian and Regenct dress. As you can see in this photo: https://rediscoveringausten.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/pride-and-prejudice-pictures-again/ the style of my dress(on the right) and Izzy’s dress(on the left) is quite different. Izzy’s is the kind of dress you would be used to – undo the buttons, put it on, and do up the buttons. Mine was rather more complicated! 

I would step into the skirt which was fairly simple. Then there was a flat – almost like you get on the top of dungarees – which would button on to the shoulders of the section with the sleeves. Similar to dungarees this then left a gap at either side. The section at the sides then needs to get held together to be tied, and then attach the flap – and I am slowly realizing this is very hard to describe as a blog post! Needless to say, I understand why people in Regency times would have needed help to get dressed! And I don’t think they were particular designed for women who are that little bit curvier! I will try and get a photo of the dress with all the different sections up at some point so you can see what I mean. I hope you’re able to make some sense of what I’ve written so far 🙂

Phoebe

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