The old adage is that "clothes make the man." (Exactly WHAT they make him is never explained.) As much as "all the girls go crazy for a sharp-dressed man," the saying is even more appropriate for the ladies. For those who wish to dress on the cutting edge of chic, it's all more than just a fad. For the style-conscious, "fashion is passion," a craving for the smart set that approaches infatuation. (For me it's horn-rim glasses and diminutive skirts, but I digress.)

If your sartorial tastes run more towards Kate Winslet, Titanic actress, than to Kate Moss, Britannic model, then the turn of the century is most definitely the fashion age for you. The Museum displays several outfits that would do a Gibson Girl proud, even after all these years. The major drawback would have to be the "hour-glass figure" necessary for the ultra-thin waistlines. Not to worry! We also have some old-fashioned corsets on hand as well to help out, should "Slimfast" not be adequate to the task.

Shoes, another necessary accessory to any wardrobe, are represented in all of their high-topped, straight-laced, Victorian majesty. In these boots, small feet took great strides forward, achieving suffrage at the voting booth and equity at the workplace. (Maybe that's why the Chinese bound the feet of little girls up so tightly.)

Finally, the foundation of any wardrobe is the underwear. Nowadays lingerie can be seen as outer wear, but a century ago a "glimpse of stocking was . . . something shocking." In those days, some women wore enough undergarments at one time to clothe several modern young ladies.

Come and see these remnants of history in "Granny's Attic," the Belhaven Memorial Museum.

Belhaven Treasure #34

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Diane K. Mason, HTML Editor 1998