I’ve had a crash course on stays this week, between my friend Carla Gade’s posts on Dressing a Colonial Lady, and the blog and emails of the Colonial Lady herself, Mary Spencer. If you’d like to tell between stays and corsets, check out Mary’s informative and interesting site (she’s a Colonial reenactor), and don’t miss Carla’s blog series from this week:

Dressing a Colonial Lady, Day One
Dressing a Colonial Lady, Day Two
Dressing a Colonial Lady, Day Three

In case you’d still like more on the subject, I went on a “getting dressed in Colonial times” hunt for videos on Youtube. Here’s what I turned up:

A video showing an 18th century farm couple, from Claude Moore Colonial Farm, dressing in their workaday clothes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_OOjFR5A4A

Dressing with pocket hoops and petticoats http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e829nat4Kw4&feature=related

Mid-18th Century upperclass fashion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pw-AVf6lFw&feature=related

Another video, using drawings, showing the steps of dressing an upper class Colonial Lady http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCrn8YrVufU&feature=related

Clothing Layers for the 1780s and 1790s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUoNGe_qJbU&feature=related

For a slightly later period, a video of a woman donning an 1805 Regency drop front style dress, over 1790s stays and petticoat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO_4PnO8KDM  Looks like having a maid, or a double mirror, would be very helpful.

These are good resources for a writer of 18th century fiction who lives on the West Coast, and can’t visit the sites and the folks who have a shared passion for (and far more knowledge of) 18th Century Colonial and Federal clothing.

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