Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog!
Last year, I posted a picture on my Instagram of a sewing pattern by Truly Victorian. Surprisingly, that photo got almost twice as many likes as I usually got during that time, so it showed me that people were very interested in that. Today, I want to show my plans for “historybounding”, a term from costuming YouTuber Morgan Donner in this video.
In short, “historybounding” is when people incorporate historical influences into more modern styles of clothing (similar to the concept of “Disneybounding“). For instance, I’ve worn an 18th-century-style skirt with a modern T-shirt and sandals or a minimalist blouse and modern shoes. The possibilities are close to infinite and depends on what one’s interested in and which eras one wishes to incorporate.
On a serious note, I think this is important to address before we go too far into this. Considering how some traditional/vintage (life)style communities can get too problematic too quickly (Strange Aeons’ video about the tradwife community on Tumblr comes to mind for me), a lot of historybounders I know follow the quote from Dandy Wellington‘s hashtag, “Vintage style, NOT vintage values”. Historybounding is for anyone and everyone and has nothing to do with worldview, gender, lifestyle, and so on. Okay? Okay. With all that in mind, let’s continue.
For full transparency, this post is inspired by Blue Collar Red Lipstick’s series about Style Avatars (link to Part One here), and similar to Blue Collar Red Lipstick’s series, each of my aesthetics is going to get its own post. If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that my style tends to split into three, maybe four subcategories, and I want to fully develop and introduce each one. Will this drift into Tumblr-aesthetic territory? Perhaps. Let’s get started!
Because I’m planning to sew a lot of the pieces for these aesthetics myself, I decided to make some guidelines that every piece has to meet: comfort, versatility, and creative expression. I want to expand on these a bit before we move into the aesthetics themselves, so here we go:
1) Comfort (CW: body image issues)
My aesthetics have been constructed based on my current environment. I live in Florida. The weather here is notoriously very hot and humid, and I’ll just say we’re called the Sunshine State for a reason. In addition, my complexion is quite fair and I’m sensitive to heat, so all it takes is a few minutes in full sun for me to be utterly miserable and possibly already on my way to a burn. As a result, I feel I need to be quite particular about what I wear. Skin coverage is a necessity, which also makes it imperative to utilize natural fibers that are light, breathable, and soft. I would also want to use parasols, hats, and fans more organically, because wearing shorts and a T-shirt with a lacy parasol is… a look. (Go on, ask me how I know.)
While we’re here, I want to address something I hear a lot when I talk about layers and full sun coverage: “Aren’t you going to be too warm in that? Wouldn’t that make you overheat?” The short answer is this: it depends on what I’m wearing. In my own personal experience (and according to videos such as this one by Prior Attire), wearing clothes made of natural, breathable fibers such as linen and cotton feel a lot better in hot weather compared to synthetic fibers such as polyester and rayon, which trap heat and don’t let the body breathe. Plus, if I use a hat, fan, and/or parasol, that also minimizes sun exposure, similar to staying in the shade to stay cool.
Another facet of comfort is mental comfort. Abby Cox talks about this concept in this video about wearing 18th-century clothing for five years. I highly recommend watching this video, but I’ll describe her point a bit here. Basically, modern clothing in general (and modern womenswear in particular) forces us to change our body from the inside to achieve a fashionable silhouette, rather than using optical illusions with corsetry (NOT tightlacing—there’s a huge difference), padding, and bustling to build a fashionable shape. Without getting too deep into dark, triggering topics, I tend to be uncomfortable when I wear modern clothing, both physically and emotionally. I often wonder how much of that discomfort is from clothes not fitting me properly, and also from how few favors modern clothes do for my natural shape. I’ve even considered wearing corsets and stays for bust support and preventing waistbands from digging too tightly into my stomach. I’m tired of squirming all day in uncomfortable clothes that make me feel awful.
Since I have effectively three or four different aesthetics, I’m not sure I can do a capsule wardrobe in the textbook sense of the phrase. Regardless, I want my clothes to be as versatile as possible, with each piece pairing with as many other items as it can. The neutral colors I’m drawn to are earth tones like warm browns, olive green, and cream, as well as black, gray, and white. The accent colors I plan to incorporate are forest green, bronze, and indigo blue, as well as some moments of red to incorporate my fandoms. My preferred metallics will be warmer tones like copper, bronze, and gold, though I’ll probably wear some pewter and silver from time to time. While I wouldn’t be against wearing dresses, I’d probably have more versatility with skirts, trousers, and tops. Though I plan to sew clothes for each aesthetic, ideally, a good amount of my clothing will be able to overlap with another aesthetic to develop a capsule wardrobe of sorts.
3) Creative expression
I love my fandoms, and I love showing off my fandoms through clothing or accessories, so ideally, these aesthetics will incorporate a lot of those fandoms with various degrees of subtlety. Also, sewing is one of my hobbies that allows for self-care through creativity, helps when I have writer’s block, and I feel empowered when I’m wearing something I made myself. It’ll also be a test in resourcefulness and creativity to make sure everything works together and is versatile enough.
Links to aesthetics:
What would you consider your style aesthetic? Do you have more than one too? Please let me know in the comment section below!
Thank you so much for stopping by! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!