Friday 21 July 2023

July Fashion Friday

 While everyone is working on getting our Days of Yore camp ready to go an often asked question is how did Victorians dress during the heat of Summer.  Days of Yore is usually very hot indeed so we have to keep it in mind.

Gentlemen were allowed to dispense with coat and waistcoat when working. Although they usually kept those items close to hand in case the boss came by and when travelling back and forth to work. Ladies, however had more constraints due to "propriety" but also simply fashion. To get the correct fashionable silhouette requires many layers so how did they handle the heat?

This fashion business was less of an issue out here in the West of course, but the propriety element was certainly still there. The result was the "Little House on the Prairie" effect. The main anachronism in the TV style is that the mother is not wearing a corset, she almost certainly would have been as there was still a need for support.

The promo pic is also missing the needed bonnets that would have always been worn when outside.

Most photographs of the period show people "dressed up" for business,  travel, and simply being in public, not necessarily for everyday work around the house, yard or fields. So it is tougher to find what people generally wore in the heat of Summer.

However the reenactor community has re-discovered how to handle it and  here are several links to interesting discussions on that very subject.  


Victorian Clothing Through the Seasons

"During the Victorian era many layers of clothing were required to achieve a fashionable silhouette and women wore dresses all year round. These facts have helped to feed misconceptions about Victorian clothing and often overshadow the logical solutions Victorian women used to regulate their body temperature and stay comfortable regardless of the weather."

Lots of photos here.

Victorian Clothing and the Heat of Summer

Our ancestors didn’t know about air conditioning, and wearing only a camisole (aka t-shirt) and men’s trousers (aka pants or shorts) would have been beyond scandalous. They couldn’t even imagine NOT being dressed in a proper chemise, drawers and petticoats then the dress (usually skirt and bodice) on top.

That’s simply how clothing was worn in the 19th century.

PLUS…. and people forget this…. the fabric used was natural – cotton and linen. Thin fabrics that breathe and keep you cool in the heat.

The comments below this post have lots of insight to the practicality of Victorian styles to today's reenactors.

And finally a fun video on the "Old West".

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Friday 14 July 2023

Days of Yore Info

We are working steadily to get ready for Days of Yore Aug 5 and 6 in Didsbury Alberta.
Come and join in the fun!

 If you are looking for links on all of the awesome Days of Yore info here they are:
Days of Yore Website & Tickets -
Days of Yore Facebook page -
The Victorian Society of Alberta

Wednesday 12 July 2023

Trench Warfare on the Plains

A fascinating bit of History here.

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Dubbed Manitoba's "Rorkes Drift".

"In July of 1851, the Metis and the Dakota of the Council of the Seven Fires met at the battle of Grand Coteau. This would be the first step towards statehood for the Metis and the beginning of the hardest period of history for the Seven Fires Council."



Sunday 9 July 2023

Getting started on the Prairies in 1890

 A fascinating video from the National Film Board collection.

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Tuesday 4 July 2023

July Book Tuesday

 Summer has arrived and for this month's Book Tuesday we have a delightful pamphlet/book produced by the CPR in 1912, and available at the Internet Archive as a PDF.

Entitled "Eastern Tours Through the Canadian Rockies" it is a delightful little guide to enjoying a Summer trip across Canada, but concentrating on the Rockies. I am curious why the title is "Eastern Tours" since most people would consider the Rockies to be in the West, but marketers then and now tended to be obscure in their creativity ☺ However the tour does start in Victoria and goes East so that might be it although the text does not follow a direct route.

Worth checking out for a look at train travel in the Edwardian times.

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Eastern Tours Through the Canadian Rockies.

From the Introduction:

THE discovery of a route across the Rockies 
for the Canadian Pacific Railway took 
twelve years, but never was labor be:ter 
rewarded. The last spike connecting East and 
West was driven thirty years ago, on Novem- 
ber 7, 1885, and the millions who have since 
traveled along this wonderful highway, cut out 
of the precipitous cliffs of the Fraser Canyon, 
winding under the snow-capped peaks of three 
vast ranges, crossing and recrossing foaming 
torrents deep down below — these millions have 
one unanimous thought that for sheer grandeur 
the Canadian Pacific Railway is without rival. 
It takes twenty-four consecutive hours on an 
express train to cross the Canadian Rockies. 
The wise man breaks his journey so that he can 
see it all by daylight, and to assist this praise- 
worthy intention, the Canadian Pacific was
constructed mountain hotels at convenient 
points along the line, where one may rest and 
perhaps spend some time exploring among the 
glaciers, riding on sure-footed ponies on the 
mountain trails, or climbing with experienced 
Swiss guides the peaks which prick the sky in 
such profusion. Sicamous is a half-way house 
between Vancouver and Calgary, and those 
who have no time to stop off elsewhere, but 
still wish to make an all-daylight trip through 
the mountains will find here a comfortable hotel. 

Lots of illustrations in this dense little book: