John Wesley once remarked, "As to matters of dress, I would recommend one never to be first in the fashion nor the last out of it." Throughout the ages, humankind has been setting and following trends of fashion. Whether captured in an elaborate, richly-trimmed Renaissance gown or a pin-tucked "Gibson Girl" blouse, historical fashions recall moments
in time when grace and elegance reigned. Period fashions need not remain confined to the pages of history texts or antique fashion plates. With a spark of creativity and an eye for detail, any history enthusiast can create a period wardrobe for the modern age, and without stretching one's pursestrings!
Dressing gracefully begins with developing inner beauty, which consists primarily of a gentle and quiet spirit. A woman of noble character exudes natural beauty that cannot be captured by merely donning a fancy gown. Externally, she is dressed modestly and elegantly. Historic fashions offer modern women a sense of romance and elegance. Ladies of the past wore lace-trimmed petticoats, fine fabrics, proper gloves and hats. While one does not want to appear as if she is dressing for a costume party (nor do we want to break the bank), every lady can borrow some vintage elements to create a historical flair. The Regency, Victorian and Edwardian periods in particular provide some beautiful ideas for making our own clothes, or choosing clothing that has timeless appeal.
A delicate lace blouse is a must-have for any vintage fashion lover. Find a modern reproduction of a Victorian high-collar blouse, perhaps with lovely peplum all the way around the waist and beautiful pearl buttons down the front.
Such a blouse would be very pretty under a fitted jacket and pinned with a cameo. A semi-transparent blouse, paired with a plain camisole underneath,
is an especially romantic look for the warmer months. For ladies on a budget, look for vintage reproductions made by popular companies such as Jessica McClintock's Gunne Sax and Gunnies lines from the 1980s. Or consider simply adding a few lace trims to the collar of an existing white blouse, as well as changing out plain buttons for delicate pearl buttons!
Gowns from the Regency era were characterized by high empire waistlines and fanciful adornments. Some of the fine fabrics they used for their dresses included georgette, silk dupioni, and chiffon. If you can sew, you can make your own gown. By shopping wisely, you should be able to find some comparable fabrics and vintage style trims at reasonable prices.
Of course, your look for an evening on the town must be completed with the perfect hairstyle and accessories. For an alternative to spending lots of money on replica jewelry, consider shopping at department stores or costume jewelry shops. Sometimes you can find some vintage-looking items from 1928 Company and other similar jewelry companies for a percentage of what you would pay elsewhere! You just need an eye for style and the patience to venture out and hunt for the perfect set!