4 November 2014
The Duchess of Reads-A-Lot
Dressing up as the Duchess of Reads-A-Lot was a terrific idea prior to Halloween. But let me tell you, being stuffed into a 'scarcely draw breath' tight dress consisting of mountains of material was hardly a play at the park. And this was minus the added pain of a whale bone corset.
The heavy mist was a perfect backdrop for a spooky date but it meant gathering my silks mid-thigh to avoid the puddles. Crumbled silk is not a great look for a Duchess. Oh, and try getting a seat belt clasped over volumes of pleats but there was nary a horse and carriage to be found when it came time to leave for the library. Playful pleas to help me navigate the loo were met with laughs so I was on my own. There was no darting through the stacks either; I was slowed down to a snail's pace. Forget regal gliding, fine ladies from the past were struggling to pull along their trailing frocks and their noses were in the air as they desperately tried to breathe.
Five hours is a dress like this cured me of any fleeting desire to live in an eighteenth century world and I suspect that many privileged women from that era stayed in their dressing gowns for as much of the day as possible.
My neighbour, Suzanne, is a wonder with a sewing machine and a more than generous friend for sharing such a gorgeous dress with me. If I don't gain another ounce I just might do it again next year.