“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world's view of us.”-- Virginia Woolf
|Upper class women|
For reasons of simple economics, her skirts, like those of many poor women of the era, are worn shorter than their wealthy counterparts. Her shift is made of unbleached linen, much coarser that the same garment she wore as a member of the English aristocracy. Outer skirts, or petticoats, and jackets (with or without sleeves) are dyed with colors found in local plants, berries and tree bark. In winter, she layers her skirts for warmth. Anne wears a linen mob cap that keeps her hair as clean as possible, especially when the weather makes it impossible to bathe. A cap is also vital in helping to keep her hair from catching fire, a common cause of serious injury or death among women of the period.
|Cover art by Michelle Lee|
I wish to thank the good people at the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, Massachusetts for permission to use some of the photos in this article.Other photographs are courtesy of the Jas. Townsend & Son catalog.