Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Victorian Mourning Etiquette: appearance matters - a lot

carte de visite showing a woman dressed in first-stage mourning, with bands of crape at her hem and sleeves, c. 1860, Maureen DeLorme's collection
(photo source: Mourning Art & Jewelry by Maureen DeLorme, published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Atglen, PA © 2004)

footage of Queen Victoria's funeral

Below is an article, The Proper Observance of Mourning, written by Anne Rittenhouse. It was published in the October, 1908 issue of The Delineator, a popular women's fashion magazine. This article appeared under the magazine's Department of Etiquette section and it details the proper clothing and jewelry to be worn by a widow and daughter during the different stages of mourning. Click on the images and take a look. Sorry about the missing square of text on the second page (a victim to Robin's collage).

"It was an etiquette that was absolutely essential and you had to do it absolutely right. You had to go through all the stages of it or you showed you just weren't a proper woman. You certainly showed that you weren't a respectable woman and since middle-class Victorian society was all about respectability and conformity, that's what this is all about."
- quote source: Professor Lou Taylor speaking about women's mourning attire during the Victorian era, from the informative and engaging video clip below:

and on a sillier note:

(nice stems, guy. work it)

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