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Monday, July 23

Undressing Mr. Darcy

Be still my beating heart! I found another article about Mr. Darcy. Read this wonderful 2005 online article from Parameter Magazine about the clothes Mr. Darcy would wear and how they are made. Here is a quote from the website:

Do not remove your waistcoat, Mr Darcy! To be seen in shirtsleeves was considered positively indecent; a shirt, after all, was the man’s last undergarment. And yet we are very familiar with those shirts: white linen, large floppy collar, and voluminous sleeves. The sleeves gather at the wrist, leaving a fluting around the hand, whilst the shoulder panel extends down to mid bicep. The huge sleeve, therefore only balloons out for three quarters the arm length. There is a deal of pragmatism gone into the dress: all had to able to fold small and neatly beneath the over layer without ridge or (too much) discomfort.

In fact, this text came directly from a performance of The History of Wardrobe troupe, which developed and originated this fabulous presentation, and which Parameter Magazine quotes. The group performs all over England wearing authentic costumes and giving lively readings. For more information about The History of Wardrobe, click here.























Oh, how lovely to contemplate Mr. Darcy's wardrobe - and the man wearing it - if even for a moment.

Top photo: David Rintoul. Middle photo: Colin Firth. Last Photo: Matthew MacFadyen & Simon Woods

3 comments:

Damselfly said...

I always contemplate what stature I would have wanted if I was a member of the society of that time period.

I finally decided I would have wanted to be a farmers wife...mainly because they were at the top of the bottom where the formalities changed. The men could where their shirt sleeves in the heat of summer, the women could show their arms...gasp...gloveless. If there were ever whisperings everything could have been written off by the occupation. And farming was a respected occupation often funded by the uppercrust. As in Emma, where Robert Martin was considered a good friend as well as a good man by Mr Knightly who was "higher up" the socail ladder.
Add the clothing to the fact that the women were allowed to raise and educate their children instead of having to hand them off to a nanny and/or send them away to boarding school. And they felt as though they had an occupation and were just as important to the success of the farm, not having to sit in drawing rooms and sew seat cushions...not really, but you get my drift.

Not that there wasn't downfalls to all positions in life...but if it was a pleasant situation...the lifestyle was easier and more relaxed.

Ms. Place said...

Yes I do, and thank you Damsel for your wonderful insights.

Sabine said...

And even in the beginning of the 20th century, life could be more fun if you were a bit lower on the social ladder. My grandmother always told me how jealous she was of the farmers children, who went swimming in the pond (naked!) and could play in the fields in the sun, without a parasol.
And she was only the daughter of a school teacher...which was a respected profession at the time of course.