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In the 17th Century both girls and boys were sent to dame-schools at an early age. The girls were not normally taught much book learning, but were taught how to be a good housewife. They were taught how to cook. They were also taught how to spin and weave and knit, not only for home wear but for the shops.
Fine knitting was well paid for, and was a matter of much pride to the knitter. Many complicated stitches were taught to the girls. The herring-bone being one type of fashion pattern. There was also the fox, and the geese knitting patterns.
The girls were taught how to create fashion trends by having initials knit into mittens and stockings. The alphabet was knit into mittens and sometimes even a verse of poetry.
Young women were taught to be gentle and learn fine embroidery. New fashion purses were made with fine embroidery and sold in the shops. Another fashion trend was the making of paper flowers, known as Papyrotamia. They were taught how to paint fine art on velvet. They learned about quilt piecing in a hundred different and difficult designs. They were also taught how to make bone lace with pillow and bobbins.
Boys were educated in, amongst other matters, Latin Grammar. The study of reading and writing was firmly etched on their minds.
The 19th Century (Early Victorian 1837-1869) brought in a new fashion trend for women. What a women desired was curves to enhance their femininity. The fashion corset of that day helped to create those curves that women desired.
The late Victorian period of 1870-1900 seen the fashion corset go a step further. Curves on women were created by tightly lacing them into their corsets. The fashion trend was to have an 18 inch waist. This style was known as the hourglass look.
Then along came the 20th Century. Young women went to college and university. They began to compete with men for jobs. What they found difficult to compete with at first was the company wage structure. Women doing equal work to men received considerably less wages. The equal parity in all areas of life for women had still not arrived. Men were still the superior beings, in the professional areas of life.
However, even if young women were not receiving equal wage parity to men, many still received a good income. And that scenario brought in a new fashion trend. The laddette fashion trend.
Young women began to go out on the town most nights with their mates. They did not limit their drinking, even if they were working the next day. A couple of small glasses of wine or spirits was not enough for them. They felt compelled to compete with men.
They would see young men gulping down large glasses of beer. So they began to drink large glasses of beer.
At closing time, they would leave the public house, legless. Be sick and then fall down. Many young women began to go work feeling very ill. But that did not deter them from starting the drinking cycle over again a few hours later. They just had to be seen to be equal to, and even better, than men.
Hopefully, as the 21st Century progresses, the laddette fashion trend will disappear. And, the 19th Century fashion trend will partly re-appear. This time however, women can make use of the more modern corset to re-introduce their femininity. And hopefully, they will still have good wage earning jobs to buy proper ladies fashion clothes.
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write by Elmer