Sunday, April 8, 2012

Parasol Pockets Part 2

I was going to post about something completely different, but I got some insightful comments followed by a really astounding email from Gemma, full of fashion plates from The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine. Even though she did all the work of finding these, I just had to pass them on. While you're looking them over, consider the evidence. A lot of these are very short for a parasol, it seems that non-triangular shaped pockets appear in similar contexts, and nowhere are these referred to as parasol pockets. On the other hand, the 1870s is a good time period for tiny accessories so we might be talking about short parasols, the existence of non-triangular pockets does not mean they were used for the same thing, and we could still be missing some perfect example of the parasol pocket in action. Still, this could just have been a fashion for impractically shaped pockets (some of them are kind of deep to be so narrow, don't you think?), and it would not be the first time a museum made something up that seemed cute and plausible. Ask my mother about Civil War Tear-catchers some time. On to the evidence!
January 1876: There is definitely a pocket there (under the second bow), but it is not one of the triangular ones.
January 1876: This does look like a triangular pocket, though most of it is hidden under a bow. No parasol in sight.
January 1876: The woman on the left has a square pocket with fringe in the place I might expect one of these triangular pockets.
May 1876: The woman on the right has a shallow triangular pocket.
May 1876: Both of these women have triangular pockets. Neither has a parasol.
July 1876: A lot of triangular pocket designs!
July 1876: But no mention of a "parasol pocket"...
August 1876: The woman on the left has a triangular pocket.
August 1876: A deep triangular pocket AND a tiny fashionable parasol. Is this good news?
August 1876: Maybe that wasn't such great news. The woman on the left has a cute little parasol, but a not-very-triangular pocket.
August 1876: Another triangular-ish pocket on the right.
August 1876: Two triangular pockets, no parasols. Hmmm.
September 1876: No way is that long parasol fitting comfortably in that short pocket.
September 1876: Again, that is a really long parasol for a relatively short (though quite triangular) pocket.
September 1876: Another pocket.
October 1876: Another pocket, woman on the right.
October 1876: Yet another pocket, woman on the right.
November 1876: This could practically be an unattached pocket, something worn slung over the skirt like a purse on a belt. But more likely it is a decorative feature and just another triangular skirt pocket.
November 1876: Another pocket with a bow!
November 1876: The woman on the right has a subtle but long pocket.
November 1876: Another pocket. It is triangular. I'm getting less insightful as this goes on...
March 1877: A very square and not triangular pocket. Interesting.
March 1877: A very deep triangular pocket, of the type I might actually comfortably put a parasol in. I would not want to go fishing for small objects in that, though.
March 1877: A probably triangular pocket on the left, but a square one on the right.
March 1877: One more triangular pocket, on the woman on the right.

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