Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Flounce

Usually hidden beneath one's skirts the flounce has descended through time.
Often consisting of lace or broderie anglaise (eyelet) it was a strip attached to the bottom edge of the petticoat, nightdress or an infant gown.

During the Romantic Era it was incorporated into the gown itself; enveloping the sleeve or with sometimes as many as a dozen layers cascading around the hemline swishing across the floor.

Even when a widow was required by mourning etiquette to dress entirely in black, she had a flounce of black crape that encircled her underskirts to fulfill such a requirement.
Flounces have fallen in and out of favour throughout fashion history. Many have been salvaged to be used in vintage decorating and doll making.
I wonder if the Puritan women that first came to this continent and were forbidden to wear lace at the throat had a flounce secretly sewn to their petticoats out of view from persecution... maybe even in red to match their scarlet letter...


Doreen said...

I bet they did...I know I would of :)!

I am a fan of Flounce myself..I love it :)

Hugs, Doreen

Cottage Garden said...

Beautiful lace and broderie anglais - how elegant to have swished around in such wonderful garments. I'm intrigued by your last sentence ...!

Thank you Maddie for your comment over at mine - you could be right about the oaks - the woods are so thick and tangled and the canopy keeps everything dark,that it's difficult to see what begins and ends where! I know there are sweet chestnuts in those woods too.

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Ahhhhhh, for the return of the flounce... -le sigh- Do you think there is any hope of its return?

No I doubt it.

But it can still be incorporated into little girl's wear!

Aunt Amelia

Anna said...

just found your blog and I really enjoyed it!
I surrely (translation?) will visit you again.
I will link you on my blog, if that oké with you?

gr, from holland, Anna

The Victorian Parlor said...

I love the old clothing styles-they were so feminine and romantic:). I would love to see the flounce come back into style! Alas, I fear that these styles are nothing more than memories of days gone by.



Pondside said...

I remember, even in my 50's and 60's childhood, that a crinoline was a much coveted piece of clothing. What little girl didn't love a flounce or two.
Interesting that even in mourning, a woman would have her flounce.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Hello Susan...ahh...the flounce...this must be what I tried to achieve when I was growing up. You see, I had a rope petticoat that I use to swish around in and then pull it down a bit so you could see 'the flounce'...Now in my mind's eye I am sitting here imagining this little girl twirling around!!! A wonderful post Susan bringing back such nostalgic moments...Have a wonderful weekend...Dzintra♥x

Pomona said...

In Neighbours on the Green (pub 1889) by Mrs Oliphant, one of the characters says that flounces 'are blessings to poor folks' - it's a wonderful story about keeping up appearances. Thank you for visiting my blog and your lovely comment.

Pomona x

Julie said...

Hi Susan,
The flouce happens to be one of my favorites. Plan or ornate I love them!!! I like the thought of the touch of red. I would like to think I would have done it. "Brand me once, I'll brand me again" HA HA!!!
Take care,

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Ohhh, how pretty! I wish we had such pretty little details in our clothes today. And I would totally have secret flounce if I were a puritan...very glad I am not, though ;)