Old Clothes
December 11, 2007 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Puzzled about what to get the history buff, throwback or Luddite on your holiday shopping list? Explore the sutler's wares in the world of historic reproduction clothing! Strut your eighteenth-century style with Jas. Townsend & Son, or dress for the Lewis & Clark expedition with Smoke & Fire. USHist.com provides the finest in Mexican War and Cavalry/Indian War apparel, as well as fashion to end all wars in theWWI collection. Don't forget the ladies (and weak-minded gents) left at home - Blockade Runner offers fine Civil War civvies.

Do you fear mussing up your delicate threads with dirty, fussy warmaking? History in the Making can dress you for a hearty constitutional across the moors, a picnic by the riverbank, or a bracing seal hunt. For the distaff side, Edwardian gowns are always in good taste, or for you modern Millies, why not some Gibson Girl, flapper, or swing-kitten apparel, or perhaps a dapper WAC
uniform? And remember, a lady's physique is incomplete without the proper Period Corset underneath it all. Gentlemen, you'll need a tailored vintage shirt and a collar. Finish it with appropriate shoes and a sharp hat or fetching bonnet.
Need more inspiration? Start with the The Costumer's Manifesto, and happy hunting in the halls of history.
posted by Miko (22 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
I've always wanted to dress like I was from the 1920s, but never had a way to do so.

Until now.

Great post, Miko.
posted by MrVisible at 9:40 AM on December 11, 2007

Well done, Miko. I was actually thinking of making a similar FPP myself, but you beat me to it. In any event, I can vouch for Jas. Townsend and for Smoke & Fire for 1700s goods and apparel, and I also recommend checking out Ghost Forge.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:43 AM on December 11, 2007

I've never wanted to dress like I was from the 1920s, but I've always wanted to look at pictures of people who do.

Now I can.

Also, the Lilly and Julia corsets.....*fans self*
posted by DU at 9:44 AM on December 11, 2007

...or I could order some of Bent & Company's Hardtack in a faithfully reproduced wooden crate.
posted by Smart Dalek at 9:47 AM on December 11, 2007

Oh this is awesome Miko, thanks.
posted by gaspode at 9:58 AM on December 11, 2007

I've wanted to deck myself out in 20s or 30s kit for a while, but haven't had the time or the dash to really go for it, but I did find a pretty interesting community for that kind of stuff: The Fedora Lounge.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:01 AM on December 11, 2007

Damn, if only I'd seen this in time for Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day. Great post.
posted by christopherious at 10:17 AM on December 11, 2007

Please be warned that if you start looking for a wristwatch or celphone to match your archaic wardrobe, you are getting into BoingBoing's Steampunk fetish. And you do NOT want to do that.
posted by wendell at 10:20 AM on December 11, 2007

From The Fedora Lounge:

Everything from fedoras to pith helmets. If a guy doesn't have a lid, he is not worth talking about.

So true!
posted by languagehat at 10:20 AM on December 11, 2007

Meh. A lid alone is just for base points. Now, a lid that lifts up when you step on his foot pedal? WINNER.

Oooh. Am liking the Lilly.
posted by maudlin at 10:24 AM on December 11, 2007

Please be warned that if you start looking for a wristwatch or celphone to match your archaic wardrobe, you are getting into BoingBoing's Steampunk fetish. And you do NOT want to do that.

But a 50's era timepiece and contemporary vaccination scar were among the elements that made MGM's The Vikings. (Not that the film couldn't have been carried by the performances of Kirk Douglas, Ernest Borgnine, et al., but I digress.)
posted by Smart Dalek at 10:36 AM on December 11, 2007

Oh, Miko. You've just brought back my childhood.

So, I grew up in a museum. And during public and private tours, I would be dressed up in appropriate 18th century dress and paraded about. I would explain what I was wearing and offer to show guests the bedwarmer, the boot scraper, the smoke chamber, the tea caddy.

First, the knee length chemise, the the custom-made corset (laced up by my mom), then the underskirt of plain cotton, the drawstring overskirt of striped india cotton, the the french bodice, then the leather belt, then the embroidered pocket, then the scent bottle between my corset be-plumped boobs, then the cap, then the hat, then the stockings , then the leather shoes.

The ordeal of getting dressed in 10 pounds of clothing in the summer for yet another League of Women Voters Charity Tour? Oy. Especially when you're 13. But it was fun, in a way, and it appealed to me as a kind of hardcore dress-up. Shocking that I grew up to be an actor.
posted by minervous at 11:15 AM on December 11, 2007 [2 favorites]

I loves sites like this! Thanks!

Speaking of which, does anyone know what happened to the Sovietski Collection website? It appears to have gone down. Anyone know of similar websites? I'd be much obliged.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:36 AM on December 11, 2007

And by the Sovietski Collection I, of course, meant Siegler & Co. I'd be much obliged if anyone could offer me a replacement site to peruse.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:40 AM on December 11, 2007

You Brockade Lunner.

This is nifty stuff. I've been looking for a tricornered hat for a while.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:03 PM on December 11, 2007

Nice. My brother's Amish neighbors look pretty good in some of their stuff, but I was told they don't like to sell to Englishers. Out of context and properly accessorized some, and I stress some, of these things, could be pretty sharp.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:53 PM on December 11, 2007

Well, actually, I'd been hoping for a nice pair of clogs. With a good heft, ifyaknowhaddimean.
posted by Luddite at 3:44 PM on December 11, 2007

I sent this to all my theater friends. Great post.
posted by nax at 4:45 PM on December 11, 2007

This is all that damn science fiction crap!

I'm looking for thigh high riding boots with pointed toes and a good linen cote the way God intended!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:30 PM on December 11, 2007

Just got my [teacher-in-training of US history] brother his Christmas presents. Thanks, Miko! (and thank YOU, Jas. Townsend & Son!)
posted by unregistered_animagus at 7:55 PM on December 11, 2007

I wear one of these (in dark brown) as my regular foul weather coat regularly. Gets a lot of comments, and billows wonderfully when the back is unbuttoned (plus allows easy access to the wallet when all buttoned up). There was that embarassing time at work, though, when everyone thought I was some kind of huge horse enthusiast...

(BTW, love the brand. That coat is durable as hell and should last me many more good years. As far as period goes, apparently Wahmaker's done costuming for Dances With Boredom...ahem...Wolves and Deadwood. Didn't get it from that site, but the picture is good. And I don't work for anyone involved either.)
posted by Samizdata at 10:09 PM on December 11, 2007

For those looking for custom corsets, I also recommend looking through the Long Island Staylace Association (LISA.org) -- they work with C&S in England, who do marvellous custom corsets.

My wedding will be 1890's era inspired and I'm having problems finding button-up shoes, so this FPP came just at the right time.
posted by subbes at 8:45 AM on December 13, 2007

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