Monday, January 14, 2013

What not to wear and the Gibson Girl body proportions

 One day at my local library I was searching for this book:


I found it, and right next to it I found this book as well.

I checked both of them out for 3 weeks.  I kept them and studied them both for 3 weeks.
Every word, every picture, every detail was taken in by me in both books.
I learned so much from both books.  Appropriate 1860s cuffs and undersleeves, as well as that my body shape should not wear pencil skirts.  Super no no for me.
I actually learned very much about what types of modern clothing work for my body - the pear with saddlebags.  Skirts on the bias are a no way, once again pencil skirts are a horrible thing, stilettos are a no no, skinny jeans are social suicide, and the best advice for me is to keep the bottom half of my body in dark clothing and a total mystery while playing up the top half.  I should wear chunky shoes, wide leg pants, lots of attention drawn up to my shoulders with accessories and the cut of the shirt, accentuate my waist, A-line skirts with lots of ruffles going on, and boots are my friend.
It has helped because I am quite fashion challenged.  It helped alot.
So then I read this blog this morning and I am obsessed.
 American Duchess

I am quite sensitive about the lower half of my body.  Very sensitive.  I would love to change it, shave half of the flesh away and walk away with the cutest little sporty body around.  I have a few good friends who tell me that curves are good and womanly, but I just feel like there is a tall, slender gal hiding somewhere inside this pear.

American Duchess posted about Victorian Era proportions of a woman, mostly the Gibson Girl era of the early 1900s.  They are much different from modern day proportions as shown by Camille Clifford's hourglass figure at the turn of the century. 

So, the way I understood from the American Duchess blog is that your bust should have been at least 10 inches larger than your waist measurement.  Also your hip measurement should have been 17 to 23 inches larger than your waist measurement to be considered a 'Hollywood Runway' Gibson Girl beauty.  WOW!
So, I measured myself this morning and I can't believe I am posting this on here, but I measure 36-28-42. (I am nursing, that first number will deflate here in 6 months or so!)  Do the math with me - Lets leave my waist as the constant.  To be a Gibson Girl hottie, my bust should be at least a 38" and my hips at least 45", but up to 51" is super glamorous. 
Can you imagine?  Now I have myself a rear end, hips, and some thighs and I can NOT imagine them that much larger and being happy about it!

I was so intrigued by this idea that when Kelsey got home, I changed out of my pants, cowboy boots, t-shirt, and flannel long sleeved shirt into some clothing I never wear - you know, those pants that hug you so tight you couldn't possibly wear in public?  That is what I put on.  Kelsey saw me and said "You want me to take your picture wearing THAT?"  Yeah, she gets me.

Super embarrasing, but here I am today.

Yep, that is the rear end I try to hide from everyone I see everyday, but I am putting it up here for friends and strangers to see it all!

So obviously, this is not the kind of clothing the book from the library told me I should wear because they camoflage NOTHING!  The wide leg pants it recommends hides those saddlebag hips because the fabric goes straight down the leg and doesn't taper back in to accentuate those baby birthing hips like these pants do.  Now, scroll back up and look at Camille again.  I CAN NOT imagine wanting to show that off!  I try so hard to hide mine, but to flaunt it!  Holy smokes!  If you notice, my hand automatically goes to my hips to try to cover it up!

Now this is the picture that I will regret posting tonight because holy cow, there it is.  My rear end.  Right there, all of it.  WOW!  When I dress up for civil war, I am grateful that it is hidden beneath my hoop and my skirts.  I joke that I was made for that era because by the time a fella would have married me for the top half, it would have been too late and he would be stuck with the bottom half as well!
My proportions are considered quite curvy by modern standards.  I hate buying jeans, because if they fit my hips and thighs, they are way too big at the waist, and if they fit my waist, I would never know because I couldn't get them over my hips to get them on in the first place.

(be kind to this shot, I have carried 4 eight pound plus babies in that pooch)
But according to Victorian standards, I would need to increase the bust a bit and increase the hips as well.  
I measured Kelsey, who is almost 11.  She is pretty average sized, definitely not chubby.  Her waist is 22.  So imagine my bust, her waist, and my hips on a woman.  That is almost what Miss Camille Clifford's measurements would have been, but some say her waist was around 18".  The American Duchess blog says that Marilyn Monroe's measurements were 37-23-36.  The blog also states that there was alot of bust and hip enhancing, and waist slimming going on with their undergarments.  Check it out - pretty amazing.

So, now that I have born my soul, my rear, and everything else to you, lets hear what you have to say!  Anyone giving away their beautiful Victorian and Gibson Girl measurements?


Breanne said...

Your post made me giggle. As a fellow pear girl, i feel your pain. :-) i do have to say that you look great though!

Tiff said...

Don't get mad, but my first thought was "I hate when skinny people complain about their bodies". You are beautiful and your body looks well proportioned. And the "pooch", HELLO! I don't see one! I would love to have that side profile.
No way in heck will I be posting my measurements :)

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Umm....I think you look fabulous!

Rachel said...

Thanks for reading ladies, and there is no way I could be mad because I have never been referred to as skinny! lol Just grateful I live right now and deal with our fashions where anything goes. We are not strict like they were on women in days gone by.

Anonymous said...

I think you look georgous. You have always hated your hips and thighs, and I thought you were crazy. But I have always hated my belly, and loved your flat belly, so I do understand.
But you look awesome, very totally awesome!



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