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Riding Habits

My current heroine is going horse riding for the first time in years.

She was prevented from doing it for reasons I won’t go into (it would be a spoiler) and has had to borrow a riding habit. It’s an old habit, a little out of date but of course she doesn’t care at all about that: she used to love riding.

If you want to know more about riding habits, go to Candice Hern’s excellent site,  which is where I got this picture from. She goes into quite a lot of detail and she shows some wonderful pictures from the fashion magazines of the time. But beware, her site is a rabbit hole that’s very easy to fall down.

So (she says, dragging herself out of the rabbit hole) my heroine is getting dressed, and to refresh my memory, and to think my way into the scene, I’ve turned to a couple of YouTube videos. There are quite a few about historical women dressing. Here’s one.

Or if it doesn’t show up, click on this link.

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19 days ago

All of those ties had to really add to the woman’s size.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
11 days ago
Reply to  Catherine

Yes, I expect they did, Catherine. But women were not expected to be as thin back then as they are now.

Robyn Aldridge
Robyn Aldridge
12 days ago

I remember when bras were called brazzieres and when I received a dance belt. I thought I was so grown up then but it wasn’t long before the rope petticoats followed. However when it became fashionable in the seventies to dispense with petticoats we all felt free as birds. How times have changed. One can understand why it took those women so long to dress back then and why they didn’t always have time to rearrange their clothes after conducting an illicit meeting when the couple heard someone outside the door… Ah the clothes! They tell readers so much about… Read more »

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
11 days ago
Reply to  Robyn Aldridge

Thanks, Robyn. I think when you reflect that until part way through the Regency, women didn’t generally wear underpants, you will see that they didn’t need to undress, as such, only lift their skirts. It was Princess Caroline, the Regent’s daughter, who led the move to wearing scandalous French-style drawers (ie knickers.) They were held to be scandalous for all kinds of reasons — drawers were men’s clothes, they were French, and it was a long-held medical belief that covering up women’s private parts, and stopping the air circulating there, would lead to infertility!