I was not your typical girl growing up. I never owned a Barbie, eschewed the cabbage patch doll (until I got one and then secretly kind of loved it), and instead collected My Little Ponies as if they would go out of style one day. In fact, I did not start wearing make-up until I was in law school – hey, it was the nineties while I was high school and college and I spent part of my time in a surfer town called Cambria, CA and au natural (for the face) was the rule of the day.

When I got older, my best friend’s mom introduced me to a little thing called the romance novel. Yes, I am a closet reader of the love story. Not just any love story though. I found that I LOVE the stories set back in the days of big dresses and gallant gentlemen. The first time I saw Vivian Leigh in Gone With the Wind I was hooked. I then had to read the book and any other love story that was set in Antebellum South.

So, imagine how excited I was when I saw an advertisement from the Charleston Museum for an exhibit called Threads of War with the option to try on Civil War era clothing. Sign me up – any excuse to put on a hoop skirt!!

For those of you not steeped in the mysteries of a ladies undergarments back in the day, a hoop skirt is what makes that gingham number you see me wearing above poof out around my legs. According to Wikipedia, a hoop skirt typically consists of a fabric that hangs from the wast with various types of “stiffening material” such as rope, osiers (had no idea what this was – apparently some type of willow) whalebone, steel, or nylon sewn into the fabric in whatever shape was fashionable at that time.

As an aside, I think the green, paisley shirt I have on underneath blends quite well with the blue squares – don’t you?

After buttoning and tieing was completed a scarf was added for a little bit of flair and of course, a hat. Laying out in the sun was not quite the fashion yet back then so ladies kept their faces shielded from the the orange globe in the sky.

Time for pictures!

The lady even got David to join in the fun with the promise of being able to wear a top hat! There he is, ol’ honest Abe – l!

To “top” it all off we were interviewed by the Post and Courier about our dress-up day. You can read the article here: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/jan/09/threads-recall-another-time/


About Southern Adventuress

Transplant from California now living in Charleston, South Carolina after getting married in September 2010 to a Southerner. Join me as I reinvent my house on a strict budget, navigate the streets of my city; meet the challenges of pet ownership; and delve into education after institutional learning.

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