Wednesday, November 04, 2009

ruff and ready


17th century Anna Rosina Marquat sporting a "Ruff"
If I could pick any time to travel to, I would want to go back in time to the 17th century purely for my very own fascination with nothing other than the "ruff." Back in the day of my Fashion History lessons, I learned how a ruff served a practical purpose, being that the wearer's dandruff would not show as well as protect one's clothing. The daily hair washing was non-existant.
The "Ruff" workroom
A ruff did limit freedom of movement, but I do quite love the look of one
as well as having my very own case to stow it away.
I am ready for a modern day ruff. The closest item that I could find was this lovely blouse at J.Crew. Are you ready for a ruff? Perhaps when wearing this, no-one will be allowed to ruffle my feathers?

26 comments:

Rose C'est La Vie said...

I am fascinated by ruffs too and the whole business of starching them. Despite the wearers' respectability I think they had a liminal eroticism. They marked the boundary between head and body, a beautiful/ brutal signifier of the no-go area!

pve design said...

Rose-
I had a lovely "ruff case" which got lost in trying to add back to my post, however, I do love the historical references to these collars and the high brow posture they immediately gave to the wearer.
I find them very sexy on men too.
pve

Debra said...

I didn't know the history of the ruff. Ruffles seems to be popping up all over the place this fall- and I like them. Hmmm... on men huh? Now that's a picture.

Slices of Beauty... said...

Always yes to a ruff idea!

little augury said...

What a wonderful post! Love the ruff-I go from a very no nonsense get dressed to that fascination with dressing costumery. Rose- you are so dead on about the eroticism. How practical these fashion designers were. I have always be amused by the earlier fashion accessory of lap dogs- to keep the fleas off the lady's person. GT

Purple Flowers said...

Love the cuffs too - very elegant.

Joyce said...

I actually have another ruffle on the way to my door. I'm loving the ruffle season so much I want it on my sweaters, shirts and t-shirts! I love it so much my friends are soon going to compare me to a bag of ruffles! xoxo

PS I thought you would love the green ribbon it is one of my favorites too.

modernemama said...

Yes to stiff ruffles on a neck collar but no to that second look - I'd look like a bag lady

Milltini said...

Not sure if I am ready for the ruff, but I am ready for the ruffles! I didn't know the facts about the "ruff" back in the old days..thanks for sharing!

Frau said...

Loving all the ruffle shirts out there this year...takes the eye away from my muffin top!

Ina in Alaska said...

Ruffs + Dandruff... who knew! Very interesting facts. I had never considered the ruff and its implications before today. PS enjoyed your walk with Kwana and Jack! Looks like you are getting some nice Fall weather.

amy and ann said...

Yes to a ruff and I love to add a bit of lace. It to me is timeless and always a bit mysterious.
Thanks for the fun post.

ann

Summer is a Verb said...

We really are birds of a feather Patricia! Love me a good ruff, (although Babe has an aversion to my pirate look, as he calls it), obsessed with 17th century royalty, and just knew you would be the first to comment on my Belgian post ;)
XXOO

Karena said...

I adore art from that era depicting the white ruffs, all of the velvet and lace. Of course it would be quite a chore removing makeup smudges on the white!

G said...

I, too, am fascinated with all things 17th century and Renaissance. Have you read Virginia Woolf's "Orlando" -you can precariously time travel there by reading about a time traveler! Very meta.

Annie said...

Love that little factoid about the dandruff... I thought it was just an elaborate, more attractive way to hide the ravages of smallpox!

Either way, the ruff is outrageous and awesome. I'd love to see some musician punk them out somehow.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I love the ruff but can't pull off the look. The "girls" are in the way too much, forcing the ruff -- and me -- to look gargantuan. ;-) I would have never been able to work it in the 17th century.

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

I think you are one of the few who could pull it off, Patricia! I remember having a wonderful sweater when I was in highschool that had a hand-knitted "ruff" around the neck. The sweater itself is gorgeous but I don't have the look for it. I do better in simpler clothes ;)

Laura Casey Interiors said...

I love ruffles! cute post.

VictoriaArt said...

There was a time as a child, when a ruffle collar meant Sunday clothes and I loved to get all dresses up. Later I abhorred all things ruffle and only now I begin to love a soft ruffle, very feminine and a bit mysterious. Knitted perhaps...
You are right, sexy on men...
I always think Musketeers...

Tickled Pink And Green said...

Huge fan of the ruff...

:)

Heather said...

I actually bought that blouse in white and wore it today! I love it!

Dallas Decorum said...

Love the ruffles...so fem!

Anna said...

Loving your site ... and loving the ruffles too!

Janet said...

The J.Crew ruffle has already put a dent in my pocketbook...several times over!

miss cavendish said...

I made my bulldogs ruffs for the holiday season. . .