16 July 2010

my 150 year old jacket.

Ha ha! this is me, trying to {unsuccessfully} model this jacket!
Today is the second time i have worn it, can you believe that it is about 150 years old!
If my history is correct, prince Albert died in about 1860, after which the whole country plunged into mourning and it became oh so fashionable to wear black, especially laden with jet beads and sequins and the like. I found this one at a market last year for £34 and its in pretty good nick for its age.

Clothes that are this old make me feel really strange...they are so much more tangible than ceramics or silverware and to think what London was like back then and how hard life was just blows me away!
The world has been through so many changes since this jacket was stitched together, and even it's older than our 'period' home by at least half a century, wow...amazing the more I think about it... its so amazing too that I can wear it to work with jeans and flip flops! I hope original owner doesn't mind!

This jacket is made of grosgrain silk with silk satin insert, jet beads and sequins and it is boned inside, probably with whale bone but I'l try not to think too much about that!

{i took these pictures in our bathroom, haha you can even see bottles of shampoo!}

I tried better pictures in the garden with the help of Nao, but I am NOT photogenic, so apologies for that.

Check out these sleeves! they have little cuffs sticking out with beautiful tiny glass buttons...

it has hook and eye fastenings and a Mandarin style collar {O how modest!}

Plimsoll walked past and I tried to get her in the photo too, but unfortunately you get a good view of her bottom! charming.

When i wear this jacket I'll always think of life a century ago and how lucky we are today, I'm glad of the NHS, freedom to vote, clean water, electricity, warmth and the Internet and all the other things I have, that maybe the original owner didn't have.


  1. That jacket is amazing. You couldn't get something like that on the high street nowadays. I'm sure the original owner will be very pleased its still going strong.

    Plus you are photogenic! so behave! x

  2. What a lovely jacket! it is so strange to think when that was first worn and bought the owner would never have known cars, electricity or telephones! just imagine where you live now, what that area would have looked like....i try to think like the time team programmes where they digitally reconstruct the area or biulding, your little house was probably part of a large feild or meadow. I kind of wish we could go back to take a look.
    It very beautiful by the way.
    Sorry to ramble, i just wanted to pop by and say i love your blog and your shed! Im glad i found your little patch of internet, oh and i wanted to say im heading off to the isle of wight next week for two weeks, we are staying near to Yarmouth, we've been going every year since i was 5ish and im now 24! so i kind of know it like the back of my hand. I really cant eait and im very jealous of mums lovely apartment in Ventnor!
    Wishing you a sunny day

  3. Great jacket - in my day job, there is a clothing collection and one of the most interesting things is the georgian little girl's dress - they were boned too!

  4. Wow! That jacket is amazing, and the fact it's still in good enough condition for you to wear... The original owner would probably have the vapours, but what the heck. xx

  5. As a dramatist and historian this post was particularly delightful to read :) I think it is the personal in history that makes it so appealing. The life stories within all objects we encounter. If we would only take the time to appreciate the stories that lie hidden within them. An object from a time passed carries with it a value often negated. What a beautiful jacket!

  6. Oh wow that jacket is simply beautiful. What a wonderful find. How lovely to imagine who it was originally made for all those years ago. x

  7. Gorgeous jacket! And it looks lovely on you.

  8. An incredible find! I love your jacket.

  9. What a fabulous find. It's beautiful and looks like something that can be worn for decades to come.

  10. I am in awe that it is possible to buy a 150 year old jacket, and for that price too. You are one very lucky girl!

  11. Anonymous17.7.10

    yes, but did you WASH it??????? Or dry clean????? honestly, kinda ewwwww

  12. hi anonymous! yes its been dry cleaned...I can tell you are not a vintage clothes wearer!!

  13. What a beautiful jacket, I love things that are full of story. You certainly ARE photogenic so no apologies please! Love your blog, its very inspiring, Anna

  14. Surely this is a museum piece, the beading and cut are exquisite. You certainly have an eye for a bargain Miss A!