Playing Dress Up

One of the best things about Bath has been our opportunity to dress in Regency-era costumes and prance and pose for photos. We were given this chance at the Jane Austen Centre and at the Bath Fashion Museum. On the 31st, we visited the Jane Austen Centre and were guided by Captain Wentworth and Miss Bates. Of course the characters were played by obliging actors, but I was impressed with the dedication. After our lecture we were given leave to explore the exhibit, and a handful of us made a beeline for the costumes. We all embraced the ridiculousness of the outfits and hammed it up. Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day

Our tour guide Captan Wentworth (white real name is James)

My comrades are ready for battle!

I have no explanation for how to make this hodgepodge of an outfit work

I laughed more than I had in the last week and took endless photos. It was so freeing to just play dress up with friends and make funny faces. The childlike exhilaration was carried on at the Bath Fashion Museum the next afternoon. We went to the basement of the Assembly Rooms and perused a collection of clothes from the last two centuries, beginning with elaborate gowns in the early 1700s and ending with leggings in 2016. Around the 1800s we found a rotunda of outfits for the ogling/. I found the least offensive dress and proceeded with the cumbersome task of putting it on. It offended the eyes and the frame, weighing no less than 10 pounds. It’s fun to play dress up, but it’s even more fun to remember that I’m not bound to a patriarchal fashion culture!

It was fun to explore historical fashion trends and I’m incredibly grateful I’m not obligated to live in them. I knew nothing about Jane Austen or her world prior to this trip and it’s been quite enlightening to explore the Victorian Era.

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