A Question

Jul. 15th, 2012 07:23 pm
whotheheckami: (Default)
[personal profile] whotheheckami
This was inspired by a conversation between Sarah and her Mum about whether or not her Mum had worn a particular dress to an event and if certain people would have seen it. This got me thinking to how a Society Lady would have kept track of what she'd worn. I'm aware of Cellar Diaries to keep track of booze and Hostesses Books to keep track of who'd come round for dinner and wehat they'd been fed. However, I'm not aware if there was a corresponding book for a Ladies Maid or the Lady herself to keep track of her outfits.

Do they exist?

Date: 2012-07-15 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes there were and yes they did.

Ladies of society kept records (or rather had records kept for them) that most OCD sufferers would be proud of.


Date: 2012-07-15 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whotheheckami.livejournal.com
Can you suggest what search terms would reveal any online copies? I've tried "wardrobe diaries" without much success

Date: 2012-07-15 07:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pickledginger.livejournal.com
Are you interested in any particular period? Queen Elizabeth -- who was known for exhaustive record-keeping in general -- had staff-kept wardrobe records that included each gown, jewel and accessory worn for each meeting or event, and the people present. If you wanted hers, they should be fairly easy to find.

It is my understanding that such records were very common for quite some time before her era, at least in upper-crust households whose women-folk were literate, and from her era through the Victorian age.

They continue to be kept today, and not just at the highest levels of society. Jackie Kennedy Onassis was known to keep similar records of her own; one of my sisters uses Excel.

Date: 2012-07-15 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pickledginger.livejournal.com
Jane Austen might be some help to you.

I suspect that many ladies may have simply recorded the gowns and accessories worn by themselves and others in their social diaries, rather than keeping a separate log. So perhaps "social diaries, gowns" might work?

Date: 2012-07-15 11:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pickledginger.livejournal.com
I did try to search on your behalf, but the signal strength from here is pretty poor (oh say, can you see ... a single bar on your cell phone screen?), so I get an error message as often as a result and then -- oh, look! a squirrel!!

(Why I am getting an error msg just about every time I Google, but can manage LJ or DW one try out of two or three, I really don't know. Has all that extra **** the big G is trying to tie to search results made their -reviously slim and trim service eat processor speed, or what?)

Date: 2012-07-16 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rosamicula.livejournal.com
The current Queen Elizabeth has a database, and gives her favourite dresses nicknames to remember them by.


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