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Fun Friday: What Would You Wear to the Ball? (Redux)

Friday, August 6, 2010

This is another re-post of something from last year. This is something that never loses its charm, for me, anyway.

Last year when I posted this, I had been writing Charlotte’s debut ball scenes in Ransome’s Crossing and bemoaned how, in 1814, there really isn’t much to describe when it comes to the ballgowns a young debutante has to choose from:

And, by the way, in case you didn’t recognize it from the description in the book, I ended up putting Julia in the dress that I chose last time as my ballgown, even though it’s a slightly later design:

Ceremonial gown of Dowager Tsarina Maria Fyodorovna, c. 1820-1830

But now that I’m finished with Ransome’s Quest, I am officially closing the book on the Regency era (at least for a few years) and starting in on my new historical-era passion: the early Victorian age. Since I’m still in the development phase of my new historical proposal, I’m not certain just how many occasions I’ll have to put my characters in formal gowns, but there is so much more variety to choose from, to describe for all occasions:

Now, here’s my challenge for you. Imagine you’ve been invited to a “Celebration of Historical Costumes” Ball. Post a link to an image of what you would choose to wear—from any era of history. Here are several links that might be helpful:

Nineteenth Century Fashions
Vintage Textile
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The History of Costume
The Costume Gallery
The Met Museum
The Costumer’s Guide to Movie Costumes

I went back through all of the links we posted last year, and this is the gown I’m choosing to wear to this imaginary ball this year:

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  1. Audrey permalink
    Friday, August 6, 2010 7:23 am

    This is my dream dress for the ball. Yes, I know it’s fictional, but i’ve always wanted to be Belle for halloween, but can’t bring myself to pay $70 for the costume and it’s cheap material.


  2. Patty Hall permalink
    Friday, August 6, 2010 7:33 am

    Bless you! I’ve had a pill of a time finding websites that have really good pictures of clothing from the late 1820’s to the early 1830’s(which is an absolute neccessity for the story I’m writing.) I’ve added these sites to my favorites.

    Have a blessed weekend,


  3. Friday, August 6, 2010 8:19 am

    I want to go to the ball! How about this?


  4. Friday, August 6, 2010 9:39 am

    I’d probably go with this one although it might make my shoulders look too broad:


    • Friday, August 6, 2010 9:45 am

      I like the “off the shoulder” look…. 🙂


    • Friday, August 6, 2010 4:01 pm

      Jason–it isn’t about the shoulders . . . it’s all about getting the right corset! Just ask Gérard Depardieu:


  5. Kirsten permalink
    Friday, August 6, 2010 11:26 am

    I’ve always wanted an occasion to wear a dress like Constance Hazard’s emerald green dress and now I found it. Thanks, Kaye!


    • Friday, August 6, 2010 4:10 pm

      “Now, ya don’t think it’s too, uh . . . Irish, do ya?” 😉

      One of my favorite gowns from the series!


    • Friday, August 6, 2010 4:48 pm

      Speaking of Charles Worth gowns, here’s another one I adore:


      • Kirsten permalink
        Friday, August 6, 2010 5:52 pm

        Oh yeah, Kaye! I love it!


  6. Friday, August 6, 2010 11:48 am

    Hmmm…I’ll go with this dress from the 1930s (this year!):


  7. Friday, August 6, 2010 12:51 pm

    I love the Phantom of the Opera! I would definitely wear Christine’s costume from Don Juan!

    My date of course would have to wear the Phantom’s suit from this pic 😉

    Or I would definitely go with something like this! Gorgeous!

    This was sooo fun!

    XOXO~ Renee


    • Friday, August 6, 2010 4:18 pm

      I think the picture of the Phantom I found is the same one as what you’d posted—this one shows the detail of his costume a little better, though.


  8. Amee permalink
    Friday, August 6, 2010 2:28 pm

    I would wear this one from The Young Victoria:

    Here she is wearing it in the film:

    There aren’t any really good picture of more than just the top part of the dress while she actually wearing it. The hairless mannequin freaks me out a bit, but it’s the only full length picture of the gown.


    • Amee permalink
      Friday, August 6, 2010 2:29 pm

      Actually there is one of her wearing the dress that shows more of it:


    • Friday, August 6, 2010 5:03 pm

      LOL Amee! I was going to pick that one but the pics were kinda terrible, that last one definitely shows off the dress better though.


  9. Friday, August 6, 2010 9:30 pm

    Oooh, Kaye, check this one out. It’s fabulous.


    • Friday, August 6, 2010 10:41 pm

      That’s fantastic, Pepper.

      I like this one from this site also:


  10. Sunday, August 8, 2010 2:06 pm

    Ooo, pretty. Daydreaming in progress 😉


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