It took so long to get dressed in the 18th century that it’s a miracle any of these people ever left the house.
See for yourself in this fascinating and painstakingly detailed re-enactment video from the Lady Lever Art Gallery and National Museums Liverpool, England. In the video, a wealthy English woman is dressed by her maids, and there’s much more to the process than meets the eye. For one thing, that beautiful blue dress that she wears isn’t all one piece, but rather a gown, a skirt, and many other intricate parts held together by pins. Perhaps the most important revelation here is that the genius people of the 18th century figured out a way to add pockets to any dress.
For more secrets of 18th-century fashion, read the museum’s accompanying write-up.