"What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Discussion of fashion elements and looks that are traditionally considered somewhat "femme" but are presented in a masculine context. This is NOT about transvestism or crossdressing.
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moonshadow
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"What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by moonshadow »

"What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

https://youtu.be/3fah6qu-0bs

An interesting "weird history" YouTube video about the crinoline fad of the Victorian era.

My question is, who here is daring enough to don one in public? *glances over towards Carl....* :wink:
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by crfriend »

moonshadow wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:03 am
"What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"
The huge ones are generally from the early Victorian period of the 1850s and 1860s. Later skirts were more trim, but tended to have bustles. So we can't confuse the time-frames.
My question is, who here is daring enough to don one in public? *glances over towards Carl....* :wink:
Well, since I've been called out, I candidly admit to having a petticoat with a single hoop in it, and it tends to produce an awkward look under lightweight fabrics like satin. In short, with the hoop installed, it looks like I'm wearing a honking big lampshade suspended from my waist. A full "cage" would be somewhat better, but likely not entirely compatible with the skirts I have which all date to the late Victorian period.

Much in the video is "open to interpretation". If fires were so prevalent, then the garments never would have "caught on" (pun intended here). Likewise, there are many videos available from historical interpreters on how the things actually worked, and those are most instructive -- to the point of me implementing some of the same tactics when getting dressed with an unstructured petticoat under a long skirt where the skirt goes on up and over the head to come to rest on the petti. Much of the vid, however, I'd put down as tosh.

I've got a small problem here at the moment as nine months of being sedentary, and with a consummate reduction in food intake has reduced my weight to into the upper 160 pound range, perilously close to where it was when I was in secondary school -- and many of my skirts no longer fit properly. I need to figure out whether I'm ever going to gain the weight back and whether I want to spend the money to alter my (now-too-large) skirts to fit my modern frame (because I have some beauties). The sick bit is that the suit jacket I purchased in the late 1970s now fits perfectly -- and looks pretty good with a camisole under it . (I'm going to look into getting that properly stitched back together...)
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

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Great Stuff Moon :D

Thanks :!:

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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by moonshadow »

crfriend wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:29 am
I've got a small problem here at the moment as nine months of being sedentary, and with a consummate reduction in food intake has reduced my weight to into the upper 160 pound range,
Holy cow Carl, 160 seems pretty light weight for a man of your height. I realize I'm a tad overweight (pushing 195 +/-) for my height (5'11"). My doctor would like to see me down to around your weight... maybe 175ish....

You mention being sedentary... that's a problem I have too, with the tens of thousands of miles I log every year behind the wheel of a work van, but that combined with the constant eating out, and c-store grabs (snacks and sodas) certainly does NOT contribute to any weight loss on my account....

I've been packing lunches since summer and for some reason put on an additional 10 lbs.

Covid life seems to have contributed to my weight gain... I figure it's the result of decreased physical activity during my time off, and I do tend to be a "stress eater". I gotta get back under 185 by August or the doctor's going to have my ass...
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by crfriend »

moonshadow wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:44 am
Holy cow Carl, 160 seems pretty light weight for a man of your height. I realize I'm a tad overweight (pushing 195 +/-) for my height (5'11"). My doctor would like to see me down to around your weight... maybe 175ish....
I'm not particularly happy about it. My frame can very easily carry 200 pounds, and when I was still in secondary school I hovered around 150 -- with the appetite of a clydesdale (more than capable of putting down two large pizzas in a single sitting). Much of the 1990s was spent doing field service --like you -- so lots of time behind the wheel (literally the only place I spent more time than behind the wheel was in bed) and a diet that was awful, and I floated up to about 180 then, likely because of the muscle-mass required to haul stuff around. When I settled in with my (now late) ex-, who was a damned good cook (!) I floated up to about 205 or so and easily carried that on a skirt-size 14 (which torqued my ex- to no end).

The previous 45/46" chest measurement is now down to about 38/40, and I don't have the courage to measure my waist, but even my size 14 skirts are starting to fall off me, nevermind the few 16s I have (including one exquisite floor-length black pleated number).

Food consumption keeps me more or less healthy, but the stresses of work in the SARS-CoV-2 era have meant a noticeable uptick in beer consumption, but that metabolises down into simple sugars rather easily and so ends up as brain food and is quickly burnt off. Who could conceive of a beer-fuelled sysadmin? (Other than another sysadmin?)
Covid life seems to have contributed to my weight gain... I figure it's the result of decreased physical activity during my time off, and I do tend to be a "stress eater". I gotta get back under 185 by August or the doctor's going to have my ass...
If you're floating up, all you can do is either up your physical activity or decrease the food intake.
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by JennC03 »

moonshadow wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:44 am
crfriend wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:29 am
I've got a small problem here at the moment as nine months of being sedentary, and with a consummate reduction in food intake has reduced my weight to into the upper 160 pound range,
Holy cow Carl, 160 seems pretty light weight for a man of your height. I realize I'm a tad overweight (pushing 195 +/-) for my height (5'11"). My doctor would like to see me down to around your weight... maybe 175ish....

You mention being sedentary... that's a problem I have too, with the tens of thousands of miles I log every year behind the wheel of a work van, but that combined with the constant eating out, and c-store grabs (snacks and sodas) certainly does NOT contribute to any weight loss on my account....

I've been packing lunches since summer and for some reason put on an additional 10 lbs.

Covid life seems to have contributed to my weight gain... I figure it's the result of decreased physical activity during my time off, and I do tend to be a "stress eater". I gotta get back under 185 by August or the doctor's going to have my ass...

You pack on 10 pounds from drinking soda belive it or not then you eat Little Debbie cakes.That doesn't help either.I feel you though because I am struggling just get to get out of a certain weight range.
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by Sinned »

Carl/Jenn/Moon, weight is something we all struggle with. I have an intake of Insulin which is instrumental in the lay down of fat so I do well to maintain my weight especially as I'm married to someone who thinks she's feeding an elephant, not a mere man. So I feel for what you are going through.

Anyway, back to the big skirts. Yes, they look amazing but I can imagine the impracticalities of wearing them. I couldn't do it. I'd destroy everything within 10 feet of me wearing one. So no matter how good they look I just can't see in my mind's eye me wearing one. Watching films such as "The King and I" they look amazing, but totally impractical.
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by crfriend »

Sinned wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:26 pm
Anyway, back to the big skirts. Yes, they look amazing but I can imagine the impracticalities of wearing them. I couldn't do it. I'd destroy everything within 10 feet of me wearing one. So no matter how good they look I just can't see in my mind's eye me wearing one. Watching films such as "The King and I" they look amazing, but totally impractical.
These are garments from a long-dead time, and from an economic class that still exists but has gone grunge. These are not the clothes of the everyday person, but rather of what was known at the time as the "Leisure Class" -- i.e. the stupidly rich. In other words, they moved around spaces that would seem cavernous to us, but which allowed such voluminous rigs to be worn.

From personal experience, the hoop is a bit of a gas to wear, but in the modern world and its constrained spaces is a pain in the arse. That's why it doesn't get much mileage. Yes, they look amazing, and it's possible to move about in one, but in tight spaces that gets very difficult indeed simply by the amount of space that one quite literally "sweeps out".
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by Sinned »

Thanks Carl. I must admit that I couldn't imagine going down to the pub in one!
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

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Sinned wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:56 pm
... I couldn't imagine going down to the pub in one!
I was friends wih a theatrical costumier who 'borrowed' from stock, and wore to a dance festival, a dress that had been made for the back row of the chorus of Carmen.  It was made of massively heavy material with a chain-weighted hem and was over-circular.  That evening in the pub, someone asked her to do a twirl -- the skirt came out horizontal and the hem cleared a tablefull of beer glasses.  It cost her a lot of replacement drinks.
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by Big and Bashful »

Just to show how impractical they would be, imagine trying to get into a car wearing one, or sitting in the middle row on a flight, you wouldn't be very popular! I bought a 4 hoop petticoat out of curiosity, never worn it outside the house, well, not when it might be seen anyway, driving while wearing it? not good!
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by Ralph »

I would very much love to wear a giant skirt with crinoline, but they were indeed meant more for appearance than practicality or comfort. I did find some videos explaining how to sit in one (apparently the hoops are bendy enough to let you sit on them, and the gaps between hoops allow the whole contraption to fold down over your knees) but that doesn't help with the horizontal space you'd need - certainly sitting in a car seat or (worse!) airplane seat would be quite impossible. My tiny office chair with rigid arms mere inches away from my belly flab would never allow it.

I am scowling with envy at the people who are griping about their 160lb or even 200lb weight. If I could only trim down to 200, I would be delighted! 18 stone is not something that fits easily into most off-the-shelf skirts or dresses.
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by crfriend »

Ralph wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:39 am
I would very much love to wear a giant skirt with crinoline, but they were indeed meant more for appearance than practicality or comfort.
Actually, a "cage" was a whole lot lighter and cooler than layered petticoats. The latter could always be deployed during cold weather, but in hot weather, the crinoline must have been a godsend for the wearer of those enormous skirts,
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

Post by rivegauche »

Though my wardrobe covers most types of skirt and dress I don't have anything to wear with a hooped or cage petticoat nor do I own such petticoats. AS well as the difficulties of sitting in a car or a chair - how would you get through a door in a modern house?!!
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Re: "What was up with those giant Victorian skirts?"

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rivegauche wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 7:53 pm
AS well as the difficulties of sitting in a car or a chair - how would you get through a door in a modern house?!!
Sitting in a chair is moderately easy, do so at 90 degrees from the back and "perch" on the edge of it.

As far as getting through doorways, the hoops are deformable and can squeeze through doors; alternately, it's possible to tilt them at an angle so they'll fit. It just takes ingenuity.
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