Long before I ever thought of writing a romance novel I was an avid costume historian. And while secondary sources, like Janet Arnold’s wonderful books, are great, there’s nothing like being able to study an extant garment yourself. There’s nothing like recreating such a garment as accurately as possible and then wearing it.
This is how I know that corsets don’t pinch, that you can breathe in them. This is how I know that hoops, the deck of a ship, and a high wind are not a good combination. This firsthand experience colours my writing, allows me to know how my character’s clothing reacts in real world situations. I think (hope!) it gives added depth to my writing. Regardless, it’s a consuming hobby of mine.
I was lucky enough to be invited to give my underclothes workshop next month at the Northeast Ohio Romance Writers of America's Conference. While I’m there one of their members is going to take me on a side trip to
The museum has two wonderful exhibits up right now that I’m dying to see:
I’m a little sad that the curator won’t be there, so I won’t be able to do any hands-on studying, but I think the trip will be worth it all the same.
Do any of you have areas of study where you go a little overboard? Or am I the only one?