Friday, March 28, 2014


Okay for those of us who write historical fiction we tend to sit at our computers with jeans, shorts, pajamas, whatever meets our fancy at the moment. We're relaxed and we enjoy running out on errands without dressing up. One of my frustrations has been understanding how my characters enjoyed wearing some of the outfits I've seen in fashion magazines. Personally, I'm a much more casual dresser. I don't mind dressing-up for the right occasion but I'm much more comfy in my shorts and loose fitting tees.

All of that is to prelude why I wanted to share this tidbit with all of you. It's kinda nice to find someone from the past who thinks a bit like me. So much so, that they signed a statement saying so. The article comes from Arthur's Illustrated Home Magazine ©1874

PERHAPS among all the foolish and absurd requirements of fashion there Is nothing, if we make the one single exception of tight lacing, which is so ridiculous, so disgusting and so contrary to all ideas of appropriateness and delicacy, as that of sweeping the streets with the skirt of the dross, and gathering upon it all the mud and filth with which it comes in contact. Yet many women do this because they hardly dare set themselves in opposition to
prevailing custom. They would gladly assert their independence if they really knew how to do so.
Several ladies of Vlneland, New Jersey, wishing to gauge popular sentiment in this matter, and find really how many women would prefer being sensible to being ultra-fashionable, drew up a paper to which they appended their own names, and then circulated for signatures. The paper read as follows:
"We, the undersigned, pledge ourselves to shorten the skirts of our dresses to four inches from the ground provided twenty-five ladies can be found who will sign this pledge."
Within two days the pledge had twenty-two names appended, and, no doubt,by this time, the full number required is obtained. But tho ladies, pleased with their success, do not purpose to stop at the twenty-five names. They desire to see how many women there are throughout the country who aro willing to go with them in this very mild crusade against fashion, a crusade which involves no startling change of dress, but which will allow a lady to walk the streets unnoticed save by thoso who may remark her good sense in refusing to bo a scavenger. They therefore make the request that all women throughout the country who are willing to take this slight step toward dress reform, will send their names to Mrs. E. B. Duffey, Vineland, N. J., and they shall be recorded in a book which shall bear the title "The Sensible Women of America;" and, in time, if the facts justify, a report shall be made of the number of names recorded.
These ladies expect the co-operation, In the publication and circulation of this request, of every editor in the country who has ever, in tho columns of his paper, given place to any fault-finding against, sneers at, or ridicule of trailing skirts. They look, also, for the thanks of women and the hearty approval of men.


  1. This sounds like a great premise for a book. If you're not going to use, can I?