Monday, September 16, 2019

Dressing in Harmony With Creation

Painting: Honeydew by 

Hello Ladies,

I was intending to make another listen-as-you-work video but I got struck with a feeling of sleepiness early in the day that wouldn't shake off, so I decided to rest. It had been a very busy weekend.  During this time of resting I ate some honeydew melon and also took the time to research the benefits of honeydew and cantaloupe. These fruits are incredibly loaded with nutrients that improve the body and help alleviate many ailments.   

Above you see from the view through our window, how very green it is around here.

The paintings below are by an artist, Hans Dahl, (Norway 1849-1937) and I am posting there here because I want to talk a little about how we dress.  The older women really need to be examples in the what they wear, but if you are younger, please do not waste time looking for examples in older women. Just start right now becoming that older woman, by dressing well and being a good example.


Despite the natural wildness of the surroundings, this girl is dressed in something that harmonizes well with nature--quite a contrast with what you might see today.  In speaking of harmony, I mean that it does not jolt your senses with something that seems to contradict the surroundings. I can talk more about that on a video.

The sleeves take on the hue of the blue water and the longer garment is as graceful as the soft meadow. The colors, too, of the dress likely are the same as the surrounding flowers.

Have you ever noticed how the painters of the 19th century include something with the subject from the background?  I will try to find more of these paintings to show you.

I realize the artists painted an idealistic version of dress, but wouldn't it be lovely if we all paid more attention to what we look like to others, maybe with the thought in mind of dressing to inspire an artist?  Would the way you dress  inspire someone to think, "I must put this on canvas to create an all-time memory?"


I was thinking of the pioneers, of whom I have spoken in some of my posts, who walked the Oregon trail. Yes, the women walked. They did not ride in the wagons, which carried their supplies and belongings.  Despite the rough circumstances,, the photographs and museums exhibit women's clothing as being much like the ones here in the Hans Dahl paintings. 


Why is it that women of the past managed to help the men in so many things, from chopping wood to carrying water, in clothing, though very plain and rough, that covered them so amply and gracefully. If they could have looked ahead to future generations that never had to walk such an arduous path, yet are wearing things that make them look like they are always running a race, I wonder what they would think. That is not to say that we should ever view ourselves in light of the judgement of others in the past but I wonder a lot about how the clothing has become what you are seeing now, so that only a minority of women are able to dress in a lovely way, and even question the very idea of it.

I noticed on Pinterest many dresses and skirts that are being sold today which are quite feminine and flattering to women. 

I'm certainly not saying we must wear 19th century costumes, but we can wear things that make us look different from the men; in fact, why not wear things that make us look strikingly different than the men.

I realize the prevailing culture has made this a controversy. Isn't that sad?  I wonder if the Victorian women or the pioneer women would ever have imagined that choosing long pretty dresses would become a bone of contention in society.

There is good news. It is possible to choose "pretty."

Have a look at Pinterest for long dresses with sleeves  and see what you get. There are a lot of floral dresses too, and if you don't want to wear dresses, there are some very feminine and pretty tops you can get that are longer.  

Actually, these aren't very pretty but they have a soft appearance and I wanted to show some fashions with the nature in the background. Perhaps you could find more that are nicer.


I noticed that April Cornell's catalog which came in the mail (you can get one for free online) are shown in nature backgrounds and many are posed in home-settings, such as the entry, living room, patio, kitchen, and it is so lovely. 

I hope to talk in more detail about this on video and share some ideas I've had.

I found this on Pinterest, from Summer Storm (UK) . If you are young I think you can wear this, and enjoy being pretty. Don't dress drab and dull or look like you are giving up when you are young.  Don't be old before your time!
To older ladies I would say, do not give up on your appearance. You can still dress beautifully and it will give you a feeling of purpose.

Here are some more from Pinterest:
This might not be as modest as we like, but I can get some design and fabric ideas from it for sewing.  I like the calico fabric.



This is a Laura Ashley original, which I read was in a museum --- that seems so amusing, to know that dresses I used to wear are now in a museum. It reminds me of something someone said in a movie, "The time will come when your beliefs will be locked up in a museum."

I am searching for a pattern for this particular Laura Ashley design, if one ever existed. Some of the clothing sold in the Laura Ashley stores  were never put into commercial patterns. 

For a closing note, I will share some pictures of sayings found in a local home goods shop:


 When Mr. S. is with me, he gets out his daytimer and writes down all the sayings he sees that he gets a kick out of, while he is waiting for me.





4 comments:

Laura Lane said...

This was a very thoughtful and deliberate post that explained your thoughts about dress as well as my own. I find that low income makes dressing nicely more difficult but not impossible. I hope you find your Laura Ashley pattern. Have you looked on Ebay? Or maybe just googled it?

Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,
Laura Lane

Gigi said...

Such lovely dresses. I love wearing floral dresses - they are my favorite outfit for around the home and for life. Do you have links to any dresses you would suggest? I cannot sew well enough to make a dress, sadly.

Lydia said...

Gigi I hope to provide links for those who do not sew.
Ive had good results from Chadwicks, THe Paragon, Old Pueblo Traders, Vermont Country Store, Talbots, Walmart dot com, Target and other places.

Feminine Belle said...

I recently took a page out of Lydia's book.

My husband and I are going to a party this weekend with themed drink and food.

So, I decided to make it a challenge and dress for that theme. Lydia, I never had so much digging through my wardrobe, looking online, and gathering inspiration for dressing this weekend. My husband remarked I might be the best dressed themed girl there and you know what? I'll be more than happy to accept the prize. ;-)