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...



11 comments:

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.
x

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.

Blessings,

Kim

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

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 ;)