The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England

The Dress of the People Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth Century England The material lives of ordinary English men and women were transformed in the years following the restoration of Charles II in Tea and sugar the fruits of British mercantile and colonial expansio

  • Title: The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England
  • Author: John Styles
  • ISBN: 9780300121193
  • Page: 327
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The material lives of ordinary English men and women were transformed in the years following the restoration of Charles II in 1660 Tea and sugar, the fruits of British mercantile and colonial expansion, altered their diets Pendulum clocks and Staffordshire pottery, the products of British manufacturing ingenuity, enriched their homes But it was in their clothing that orThe material lives of ordinary English men and women were transformed in the years following the restoration of Charles II in 1660 Tea and sugar, the fruits of British mercantile and colonial expansion, altered their diets Pendulum clocks and Staffordshire pottery, the products of British manufacturing ingenuity, enriched their homes But it was in their clothing that ordinary people enjoyed the greatest change in their material lives This book retrieves the unknown story of ordinary consumers in eighteenth century England and provides a wealth of information about what they wore.John Styles reveals that ownership of new fabrics and new fashions was not confined to the rich but extended far down the social scale to the small farmers, day laborers, and petty tradespeople who formed a majority of the population The author focuses on the clothes ordinary people wore, the ways they acquired them, and the meanings they attached to them, shedding new light on all types of attire and the occasions on which they were worn.

    One thought on “The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England”

    1. WOWWOWWOW!!! This is about how lower class people acquired and used clothes--which in itself is a subject generally neglected in favor of research on the cutting edge of fashion consumption by the gentry. The evidence is (expectedly) weighted toward the later 18th century, but thank goodness Styles does NOT ignore the first few decades of the century like so many historians do--it's simply the reality that more evidence exists for more recent history (hmm, how bout that). This is no doubt the mo [...]

    2. This book is meticulously researched and documented and I cannot imagine that anything more could be said on this subject unless new archival information is found. The "people" are the non-elite of Georgian Britain, from merchants on down to those forced to rely on parish poor relief or workhouses. It is not an easy book to read because the amount of documentation Styles provides becomes overwhelming after a while. I write that not to denigrate the book for it is a solid piece of research and, a [...]

    3. What did ordinary working people wear in the past? It is a fascinating question, given that we have no treasured relics to look at in museums. This is a serious book that used the methodologies of archival research - looking at inventories after fires, criminal cases, diaries and pauper institutions - to give some answers. The short answer is that clothes were brighter than we might imagine (lots of purple and white gowns) and serious objects to aspire and save for. Kerchiefs were never missing [...]

    4. I'd definitely come back to this for reference; some of the information about fibers and styles used is quite useful. There are some great paintings referenced, as well. Plowing through the whole thing over 4 days or was a bit of a stretch (it was due back at the library). I did learn a new word: sartorial. Means something about having to do with tailoring clothing or styles of dress. I wish there was a book like this for the colonies and early America.

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