Posts Tagged ‘Jane Austen’


Photo courtesy of Leslie Gallin.

Bows are dominating much of fashion – just look at recent Golden Globes gowns worn by Jennifer Lopez and Scarlett Johansson. Always a chic classic, they are adorning shoes as well. A good bow can take you anywhere – a wedding, the beach, a business meeting and more.

Leslie Gallin, President of Footwear at Informa.

Bows make me think of the Georgian Period in British history (1714-1830). The Georgians loved the bow motif and it was often used in jewelry design and in architectural detail.

I wonder if bows aren’t the end of the current fashion story. Hitting the small screen is the unfinished Jane Austen novel Sanditon on PBS Masterpiece and yet another version of Emma is coming out on the big screen in February 2020. (Technically Austen was in the Regency Period, 1790-1820.) Might we see other late Georgian motifs in current fashion?  A return of the Empire Waist? Puffy short sleeves? The spencer? (Short jacket worn by both men and women. The spencer for women ended just under the bosom.) I have already spotted a few Austen inspired looks in fashion magazines. We shall see.

For now, check ODFL on Wednesday to read a fun and informative Q&A with Leslie Gallin – it’s all about shoes!

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Zack Pinsent. Photo: BBC

Why dress up in jeans and a t-shirt if you can go along to Tesco dressed as Napoleon or something?

Zack Pinsent, British tailor who specializes in Regency period clothing.

Zack dresses full time in period clothing. He’s a part of a new BBC television show, My Friend Jane, which is all about modern day fans of Jane Austen.

Speaking of period clothing, later this week I am on my way to Costume College. For the very first time I’ll be joining the ranks of other period clothing enthusiasts for three days of fashion history lectures and workshops such as:

  • Making the Phantom Bustle
  • 18th Century Coat Construction
  • How to Set an Authentic 16th Century Ruff

… just to mention a few.

I am most interested in fashion history so I’ll be headed to the lecture classes. I’m looking forward to learning about 18th century fabrics, changes in women’s fashions 1774-1784, Hanbok – modern historical Korean dress, and much much more!

Costume College is an annual “costuming arts conference” brought to us by Costumer’s Guild West, Inc.

You can be sure I’ll be writing about this and posting on Instagram.

Follow along #overdressed4life.

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Jane AustenI’ve been reading a new book called Jane Austen’s Guide to Thrift: An Independent Woman’s Advice in Living Within One’s Means, by Kathleen Anderson and Susan Jones (Berkeley Publishing Group, 2013). The authors, both English Literature professors, offer basic budgeting advice using examples and quotes from Jane Austen’s novels and characters. The fashion section includes discussions on how to repurpose forgotten clothing in your closet, how to succeed at thrift-store shopping, and the advantages of investing in quality classic pieces.

With good humor and wit, the authors poke fun at modern society’s consumptive ways.

“We wonder: Would Jane Austen or her characters have succumbed to personal trainers to achieve a svelte look? Would Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey pore over fashion magazines and think that a pair of $400 shoes was money well spent?”

No they would not and why should we? Although the advice is old-hat for those of us who already practice thrift, the book is entertaining and makes living within one’s means sound like the best trend of the season.

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