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.