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Saturday, March 3, 2012


This post will give more exact examples of a previous post from November 2011 on the matter and that I had taken from the “Trajo popular em Portugal nos séculos XVII e XIX” by Alberto Souza.
Although I'll be only using a few images, you can find more under the 2 links I've posted below.

: The following images are from the the 1820's and 1840's, so therefore, outside the Regency period. Even though I'm going to explain Portuguese popular costume at the early 19th century they offer some good insight of what was worn in this country back then. The popular costume hadn't changed much and it is the similarities that I'm going to focus on.
Please, don't copy exactly what you see if it isn't the period you're looking for.
My search for better period images is still a continuous labor.

Last but not least, at the bottom of the post is one from a blog where the writer shows how to use a scarf. Informative, even if if not complete when it comes to the various manners scarfs were used by different professions, social classes and geographical regions. But the method showed is good enough.


(still have to find out who drew/published these and if the date is correct)

This book, even though from 1828, shows costumes that in my opinion can only mean tow things: or people in Portugal still dressed the same in the 1820's as they did at the turn of the century, or they are 1820's representations of what was worn at the turn of the century. The doubt comes from a picture below from a man wearing coulotes.

Peasant of the Trás-os-Montes region (right) and Roasted chestnuts seller (left)
As shown on the previous post on Portuguese popular costume at the turn of the century, women wore a costume made out of 3 visible parts, a skirt, a bodice and a chemise (being the skirt and the bodice of different colors). Then a scarf or hat (sometimes both) for the head and one for the shoulder (that could also be used on the head) and an apron. Everything very colorful.*

of the Minho region (please see post of July 2011 on the subject to learn more about this social class)
Women and men from a social class between peasants and nobles would rarely change their way of dressing, depending on their richness and city they lived in. In this case we can see exactly the same as the popular costume, only in better fabrics, more likely. To notice a very exquisite fact: the
plume on their stovepipe hats. In this case we have ostrich feathers but the fashionable detail during and short after the French invasions would be a military plume reminding the British presence in Portugal (if it was a gift or bought later it's not for us to discuss....)

Onion seller
Same dress code. But what is different is the little blanket on the woman's shoulders. I've never seen it before in this period. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

Peasant in festive clothing
This is one of the pictures that makes me doubt the period they are supposed to be. The men's
coullotes are still used at the turn of the century but too in the 1820's? And why is he regarded as a peasant if he's wearing coullotes when it was this piece of garment that differed peasants from nobles?



(from the 1840's and 50's)

Woman reaping
Not much has changed, 3 part dressing remains: wide skirt, chemise and bodice, although I don't believe that this type of shirt with ruffles existed and the bodice I believe is buttoned. Interesting detail about the skirt being rolled up at the waist to help movement.

Fish sellers
For the female costume, the same as above. The bodice is closer to what was worn at the turn of the century. Noticeable are the hats and the scarfs underneath.
As for the men's outfits, the drawers haven't changed.

Peasants on a festive day and pilgrims on a holy day

The pilgrim woman is wearing a large skirt, a jacket, a large hat, 2 scarfs (one underneath the hat and the other one around the neck). Very interesting is the red petticoat! In the book I've mentioned earlier I've read descriptions of pink petticoats and even jackets on popular costume. Notice the white stockings too. The black slippers are typical tho the North of Portugal.
The peasant woman is wearing a detailed skirt and jacket also worn in the early 19
th century. In fact detailing the garments (even petticoats) was a very much appreciated thing in Portugal in all classes, specially the lower ones.*

Poultry and coal sellers

A colorful jacket on the poultry seller, just as I had read descriptions in the book I mention above. The scarf and white stockings remain.

Townsman of the city of Braga
This must be my favorite image. Although the image is described as a townsman from the city of Braga, I cannot help laughing at the combination of a good suit with clogs. Very dandy! Perhaps a sign of the provincial side of Portugal and of some it's regions.


*Personal note: The exaggerated use of colors and detailing on clothing is something that I have not only found in description by the author from the book I mention at the top of the page but also found in my research of medieval costume in Portugal. In fact, it has been criticized by foreign diplomatic representatives on how men and women would dress too colorfully, would embellish their costumes in an exaggerated manner and enjoyed dancing and singing a lot. Even their behavior outdoors would be not as prude as the rest of Europe. And these critiques I've read were directed at Nobles!


The scarves worn on the head would be 1meter by 1meter approximately and would be folded into a triangle, being the inner part a bit shorter then the other so there wouldn't be to much tips showing. Then, it would be placed symmetrically on the head making a fold into the cloth to get rid of the amount of fabric on the sides and then pinned into the hair over the ears (watch the photos the blog owner posted). This is how a woman should wear her scarf going to mass or a festive day. The hat would go on top.

Depending from where the woman was (the different Portuguese regions) and what social condition she had (peasant, farmer, city woman, etc) her scarf would be tied together as the costume of the geographical region she came from (behind the neck, on top of the head, etc) and it would also determine the richness of the patterns and colors (if the woman would be working on the fields her scarf would be white and if she had the financial condition she would buy a prettier one for Sundays).

The patterns you see on this blog post are not to far away from the patterns used at early 19th century. I've seen only a small variation of scarves at the Victoria&Albert Museum in London.


1 comment:

Sara Seydak said...

I have found out about the author and exact date of the book of 1828! It-s in fact published a year later and written by wiliam Morgan Kinsey in "Portugal Illustrated", London, 1829. So, it seems that the Portuguese were still dressing in the same fashion in the 1820's as in as the early 1800's.