Monday, 26 January 2015

Ridiculous Victorians - The Alexandra Limp

Silly fashion trends are not just a modern trend. If you think beard cozies and toques in the summer, are silly trends, imagine pretending you have a limp just to be hip! This is what happened in 1869 when young ladies would limp around high streets just to keep up with their trend setting peers. So why were they doing this?

During the Victorian era one of the leading fashion icons was Queen Victoria's daughter in law the Princess Alexandra. She was born a princess of Denmark, and later married the Prince of Wales. as future queen, she was the Kate Middleton of her day, so lots of ladies copied her style. One of her better known signature items was the pearl choker which became immensely popular.

In 1869 the Princess was struck with rheumatic fever leaving her with a stiff knee. She walked with a bit of a limp and the help of a walking stick until she recovered. Young ladies, first in London, then in other cities and the countryside began to fake a limp to be fashionable. They would wear mismatched or too small shoes and hobble about with a stick. Shoe salesman took advantage of the trend and sold shoes with different length heels to enhance your fetching hobble! Writers of the day called the trend idiotic and ludicrous.
The North British Mail reported ""Taking my customary walk the other day, observant of men, women and things, I met three ladies. They were all three young, all three good-looking, and all three lame! At least, such was my impression, seeing as they all carried handsome sticks and limped; but, on looking back, as everyone else did, I could discover no reason why they should do so.
"Indeed, one decent woman expressed her pity in an audible 'Puir things!' as she passed, but I was enlightened by hearing a pretty girl explain to her companion, 'Why that's the Alexandra limp! How ugly!'"

Luckily the trend didn't last long, but the next trend was skirts with such a tight hemline that one had to shuffle as you walked!

What do you think is the most ridiculous fashion trend?

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