Friday, May 27, 2016

Italian for Summer

This weekend was our monthly Adrian Empire event. The forecast was hot and humid with a good chance of rain so I dressed accordingly.

I decided to Italian-ify another of my English gowns. I've really been loving Italian garb, especially for this climate. My linen camica is just a dream to wear! The breeze goes right through it, leaving me nice and cool.

Not to mention that I find Italian looks effortlessly elegant while the English tend to look more prim and proper. I'm not sure why but it may have something to do with the lovely hair dos. Mine is still too short to do anything fancy but a snood and a hair piece make for a passable style.

And Italian jewelry is so pretty! I couldn't help but bling myself out a bit even though I was going for a more lower class look. Period appropriate looking jewelry makes my heart go pitter patter so I'm always on the look out for new pieces.

Often when I'm in costume, people ask if it's comfortable to wear. And I tell them that it depends. If your clothing is made to fit you and is functional, it's quite comfortable. If it's ill fitting and poorly made, it will be terribly uncomfortable! This dress had a boning pop out the top of it's casing and was poking me in the arm pit the last time I wore it and it was painful! Thankfully, it was an easy fix and this dress is back to being super comfy.

It's important to remember when doing historical costuming that ready to wear is quite a new concept! Clothing would be made to fit you or you'd remake a handme down to fit you. Most ladies would know how to sew or could afford to pay someone to tailor it to their bodies. Unfortunately, we are so used to ready to wear that many purchase ready to wear garb and end up with uncomfortable things! If you've ever heard some one complain about uncomfortable corsets, I can almost guarantee they bought ready to wear or did something silly like lace it way too tight on the first go.

This dress has 6 steel bones and fits like a firm hug. It supports and shapes me while still allowing me to do many everyday activities with ease. I won't be doing any yoga in this dress but that's ok.

You might think I'd rid my costuming closet of wool now that I'm in Florida but I'm actually wearing too bits of wool here. The soccia or pocket is made of wool and adds no warmth to the outfit. My apron is also wool. Since wool is water resistant and smolders instead of bursting into flame like linen, it's great for aprons.

So while I don't plan on making any wool dresses in the near future, I do enjoy having some wool accessories. To combat the Florida summers, it's linen all the way! While some people choose cotton due to budgetary restrictions, linen is cooler, more durable and period accurate to boot.

Personally, I'd rather wait until I could afford linen to make a new dress than to cut corners on fabric content and make more dresses. Summer is just too hot for polyester!! (Except for whatever my faux hair is made of. I'll keep my hair piece.)

 So I probably won't be making as much garb this year but I am making a new Italian Renaissance gown so be sure to check out my IRCC6 posts to see how it's coming along!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent point regarding how we've grown accustomed to "putting up" with ready made clothing, so to speak, shortcomings of such very much included (especially if one doesn't sew and/or doesn't have the means to pay for professional alterations). I often think that clothes fit better when just about everything was made-to-measure or at least tailored to work for someone's figure, if it was a hand-me-down item. We've largely lost (save for those who do sew their own clothes) that element of fashion on a broad scale and it's a shame really.

    This Italian ensemble is so classically pretty and truly looks beautiful on you.

    ♥ Jessica