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"Hope for Charity"-Fashion/Accessories-Part 2

Today we continue our look at accessories in The Life and Times of Hope for Charity series. Hope for Charity, my debut novel is set in England in the Georgian Era of the 18th century. Last time we learned a bit about fans and reticules. This time we will take a look at parasols, chatelaines, and gloves. If you are new, welcome! If you'd like to start at the beginning of this series click here.



Parasols



The dainty quality of the parasol comes not only from its petite size, but from the more delicate and finer fabric from which it was originally made. Fine cotton lawn, calico, linen, and silk were the historical fabrics of choice. European ladies made the parasol a fashion statement when it became an accessory that coordinated with their clothes or activity. Most accessories become a canvas for decoration and the parasol became the perfect showy addition to women’s finery. Matching ensembles and parasols was a way of displaying wealth and status.

The parasols were not meant for rainy weather, but the first patent for an umbrella wasn't recorded until 1786, thirty-nine years after Hope for Charity.


Chatelaines


"Chatelaines: Utility to Glorious Extravagance" by Genevieve E. Cummins (Author), Nerylla D. Taunton (Author), Antique Collectors' Club (Author)
Chatelaine, ornament, used by both men and women and usually fastened to belt or pocket, with chains bearing hooks on which to hang small articles such as watches, keys, seals, writing tablets, scissors, and purses.

The chatelaine is one of my favorite accessories from this era, because it seems so useful. I did look to see if there are any modern day chatelaines and did find places that make them. However, the ones I found cost a pretty penny. Here is a picture of one such "Sewing Chatelaine".





Empty a woman’s handbag inside out and you’ve got the right idea about the chatelaine. Before purses were a woman’s primary accessory, this curious contraption that fell into the annals of fashion obscurity over time, once commonly served to carry her daily armour. Designed very much like a tool belt worn at the waist, the chatelaine held an array of both useful household appendages and fanciful items on a series of chains, reflecting a woman’s hobbies and activities of the day.


Gloves



Gloves were a must have for any proper lady of the Georgian era, no outfit was considered complete without them, and an ungloved hand might even be considered scandalous.

Gloves were made of silk, linen, or animal skins. Day gloves were usually shorter and evening gloves longer. Therefore, many of the evening gowns had short sleeves since some of the gloves rose well past the elbow.





Another interesting aspect of what I’ll call “glove culture” is that men touching women in company without gloves on was considered far too intimate, and ladies usually only removed their gloves to eat.


Women wore gloves as a protection from disease and to keep their hands soft and feminine.
Soft hands were a sign that a woman came from a prosperous or upper class family and gloves were the number one way to keep the hands soft and protected while out horse riding.
Long gloves allowed women to hide the skin on their arms if they had a sort sleeve on their top which enabled them to cover up and maintain their modesty.
For those women that did have coarse hands from manual work, gloves were a way to hide their hands especially when at church or other social gatherings, effectively allowing them to hide their station in life.
 

Did you enjoy this glimpse at parasols, chatelaines, and gloves? As always, I've just scratched the surface. Let me know which accessory this week is your favorite. Come back next time to look at ladies hats. Have you subscribed? Push that button below and sign up for this blog and to receive updates, newsletters, and other creative writings all at no cost. Your support means so much to me.



 





4 comments

4 Comments


Ooooh, parasols! What fun! Thanks for writing this. Very interesting.

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Yes! They are beautiful, right? So glad you enjoyed reading about it! I love this type of research.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this segment! I can think of uses for chatelaines especially in sewing hobbies!

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Me, too! Seems like a chatelaine would be so handy. I'm happy you enjoyed the blog!

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