Sunday, July 4, 2010

Victorian Apparel

I've been working on my windows and shutters a lot lately, but to show my progress, post after post, would be too repetitive. "Oh gosh, not her windows again." So I'll show you old pics of my ancestors. To some, as boring as fixing windows, but to me, period clothes are very interesting, especially when they involve actual photographs of the period. You can't get more authentic than that.

These are my ancestors on my mother's side. The lady is my great-grandmother Tremblay (née Marie-Louise Belle-Humeur) with her two boys. To her right is Renée (3 or 4 years old), on her left is my grandfather Arthure (5 or 6 years old). This picture would have been taken around 1895. Typical of the time for women's apparel was the high collar, leg-0-mutton sleeves, pleated bodice at front and flared A-line skirt creating the ¨pigeon¨ silhouette. She may have been widowed at the time of this picture, explaining the dark and somber dress.

The little girl (3 years old) in the other picture is my grandmother Tremblay (née Elisabeth Mathieu). She eventually married Arthure, the little guy in the first picture. My mother thinks I look like her. The very young boys of the time could have been mistaken for girls. The hair was kept long and curly and they were often dressed in skirts or dresses. Frills and lace shirts and laced up boots or booties were the norm for children, whether boy or girl. Pictured is probably their best attire, worn for Sunday mass (les habits du dimanche), but also for special occasions like family pictures.

Note the lovely wicker chair.

I don't have pictures of my great-grandfather Tremblay. It's a miracle that we have any pictures of them since both my great-grandparents and grandparents died in their 40s leaving behind orphaned children. But here is one of my grandfather Arthure as a young man (circa 1909) sporting a stylish bow tie over a stiff high collar and a lapeled vest under his jacket.

I can easily imagine them visiting the Dusty Victorian...who knows, maybe they do.


sunshine said...

A few years ago, a great Aunt of mine gave me some old Victorian pictures of her parents (my Great grandparents) and other various family members. Also, some poetry that my Great-Grandmother had written. It was mostly very religious, almost obituary like as they were to honor her children and parents when they passed away.

When my great aunt passed, they asked if I would like anything read at her funeral. (she had no children and most of her close family members were gone except for me.)
I had them read one of her Mother's poems and thought it quite fitting.

I love the Victorian clothing but cannot imagine having to wear it all! Especially in the very warm weather.
The dresses that I really love are the ones that are shown in all of the Jane Austen movies. the high bodice gathered in just under the chest and then flaring out. I'm not sure which time period that is from.

Thanks so much for sharing the photo's. They are beautiful!
(I for one would love to see the progress on the shutters!)


The Blackwood Cottage said...

Oh, you really do look like your grandmother, I see it! I love photos of ancestors; surreal. The photos and the name, Arthure, remind me of the movie..Somewhere In Time. The little boy and later the old man's name was Arthur. That movie starts with the calling from old photo. Lovely post!

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Laura,
You have treasures in your possession, my gosh, poetry from you great-grand-mother - how touching.
I believe the Jane Austen period would have been around the 1800's, about 100 years before the Victorians. I agree, a much more "comfortable" apparel for women and very pretty. The Jane Austen movies are exquisite, the British are so good at doing period movies. Thank you so much for your encouragement on the shutters - slowly, but surely I,m getting there.
Have a great one,

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Machelle,
So glad you enjoyed it. I will make a point at renting the movie Somewhere in Time.
Nice talking to you,

Eastlake Victorian said...


Thank you for sharing your wonderful ancestor photographs! They are magnificent. I love the clothing, as I know you do, and also the beautiful lighting and the way they were photographed back then. You are fortunate to have these photos of your relatives, and somebody to pass them on to.


The Dusty Victorian said...

When writing this post, I was thinking that maybe your spider senses were tingling. I agree, those are real family treasures.
Take care,

Terry @ La Bella Vie said...

Well first, let me just tell you it was good to finally get your posting back on my blog. Apparently blogger is fixed and my MIA posts' are reappearing for me:)
Now onto your post and pictures, this is wonderful! As you have seen I love family history and love the old vintage feel in old photos and their surroundings. In these pictures I must say I would love to have that beautiful wicker chair! Its just a very unique piece that I'm sure today would be very collectable!
Thank you for the story and for stopping by again!

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Terry,
Glad you enjoyed the pics.
Yes, isn't that wicker chair something? I agree, it would be very collectible since wicker is not that long lasting.
Thank for dropping in.

Terry @ La Bella Vie said...

Thank you for coming by La Bella Vie and your kind comments about our celebration. It was such a fun event to, I'm ready to do it again:)

The Dusty Victorian said...

Thanks Andrew, welcome to the DV, so glad you enjoyed it.