I had absolutely no inspiration for a blog post today until I read another bloggers post. The gist of it was her experience with two groups of costumers, those who would live in their costumes and feel as comfortable in them as they do modern clothes and those who are slow to get into them and quick to get out of them. The idea of going to a modern venue still in costume or the idea of walking down a modern street ALONE in costume is uncomfortable. It was a well written post-the best feature being it was non-judgmental about either stance.
I think I fall a bit in the middle. I have no problem going to a modern place in costume. But I need to be with at least one other person in costume. It is the idea of STANDING ALONE that freaks me out. The idea I am not part of a recognizable group makes me feel weird. In the States, Reenactors are fairly common. It is almost unheard of here in my part of Canada. So a woman walking in period clothes alone would garner the same kind of stares as a person who chose to wear a wet suit and tutu down the street. We would not be part of a recognizable group so we might be dangerously insane. If you see a person in punk clothing, you may not trust them because of their counter culture stance but you do not wonder if they will be unpredictably unbalanced. They have conformed to the standards of a recognizable group and therefore capable of predictable social behaviors. Wet suit and tutu guy…not so much.
The other considerations for the “I’d live in my costumes if I could” stance, is I actually am more comfortable in modern clothes. I feel PRETTIER in Victorian clothes but I feel more comfortable in modern clothes. A lot of people do. That is why leggings and yoga pants are so popular in spite of them not being the most stylish thing on many body types. And most of my friends and family are not costumers. The fastest way to socially isolate myself (and loose my job) would be to attempt to wear a costume every day.
And that is why I have Victorian “costumes” and not Victorian style “clothes”. What do you think?