Fashion in Lower Canada
So much work today! All the ladies want a new dress for dinner at the governor‘s house. Englishwomen love fashion and want to wear the latest designs from London.
All these beautiful fabrics they love, like silk and velvet, have to be imported from England, because the only fabrics made here are wool and linen. The dresses have very high waists and puffed sleeves, but the skirt is quite narrow and has no crinoline. The ladies also love hats decorated with feathers. The latest rage is dresses decorated with lots of ornaments like lace or sewn silk flowers.
English and Scottish gentlemen also like luxury clothing. They love coats with gold buttons and they never go out without a hat. You need lots of money to buy all these fine clothes. Only the rich merchants can afford them.
Video narration available in French at http://primaire.recitus.qc.ca/sujets/9/vie-quotidienne/3740
As for myself, I am Mary Bolduc, a mere seamstress. I dress simply with clothes made of canvas, wool or sometimes cotton. I usually wear a skirt and a blouse with an apron. I also sometimes wear a shawl over my shoulders. What I love most of all are my pretty coloured ribbons. I admit that my clothes may be simple, but they are practical.
My fiancé also wears simple clothes that do not wear out easily: pants, shirt and a hat. To stay warm in the winter, he wears a wool coat with a sash to keep it tightly closed. We both also have our good Sunday clothes.
Author: Service national du Récit de l’univers social
See also – Traces of the past: