19 May 2011

Silk lounge suit from the 1860s

Perhaps because my memory is conditioned by having seen so many black-and-white photos, but I am recurrently startled when I see brightly-colored clothing items from the era of Abraham Lincoln, Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens.

Source unknown; found at Ye Olde Fashion, via Fuck Yeah, Victorians!


  1. The world was in color previous to the 20th century. Often pretty garish by our sensibilities.

  2. The first chemical dyes appeared in about 1850. And folks went wild with them.

    Many years ago, I was guiding people through a Victorian mansion and people were shocked at the garish paint. The owners of the place had repainted the place as it appeared in the 1890s. Fortunately they had preserved samples of the original paint layers as proof.

    Still, the tangerine dining room was a bit much when the morning sun came through the windows.

  3. It's true about the chemical dyes - did you ever get chance to read the book about it, "Mauve"?

  4. I read one with that title last year, by Garfield. Rated it 2+ and didn't review it here.


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