Category: Resources

The Medieval Lifestyle

When students think of medieval times, they might first imagine the legends of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. While knights, quests, and codes of honor did play a role in medieval times, also known as the Middle Ages, they occupy only a small and early part of the history. Much more beyond legendary British tales remains to learn about this age from more than half a millennium ago.

Food

Today in the West, we have innumerable different foods available to us at our nearby grocery stores, from spices like cinnamon and ginger to fruits like avocados and mangoes. Globalization and improved transportation allows for this variety. In medieval times, however, the difficulty of travel meant that Europeans didn’t have as much access to these foreign commodities. Medieval diets depended on what the land where you lived could grow as well as on your social standing.

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Selling, Donating and Recycling Old Clothing

Textile waste and the fashion industry now cause nearly as much pollution and landfill waste as big oil. Going green with your (clothing) habits is more important than ever, and fortunately, it’s fairly easy to mitigate your personal impact on the environment. Start with addressing how you dispose of old clothes. The average American throws out around 70 pounds of textiles every year. To reduce waste, go through your unwanted clothes and divide them based on condition. Then, try an eco-friendly way to get rid of things rather than throwing them in the trash.

Selling

If you just throw away or donate all of your used clothes, you may be throwing out money. Just because you don’t want to wear that summer dress anymore doesn’t mean no one else does. In fact, someone would probably be willing to pay for it. Name-brand fashion consignment sites are popular online, but there are lots of small, local businesses that sell goods on consignment, too. You give them the clothes you want to sell, they do the work of drawing in customers, and when your stuff sells, they give you a payout. Other online marketplaces, ranging from Craigslist and eBay to Facebook and Instagram, give you the chance to sell used clothing directly. It’s a little more work, but you keep all of the profit.

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Greasers and Hot Rods

Post World War-II America saw an economic boom unlike any time before. Many veterans returned stateside from their victory at war to attend college, buy homes, and start families. Not all citizens felt the benefit of the resulting economic boom, however. Lower- and working-class families still felt the lack of economic opportunity. Minority groups such as Italian-American and Hispanic-American citizens encountered many roadblocks to prosperity during an otherwise booming period in America. Disillusioned by the lack of opportunity in post-war America, many of these people became drawn to counterculture elements like fast cars and rock and roll music. With this, the greaser subculture was born.

The Greaser Subculture

The greaser subculture had many notable characteristics. Greasers are often portrayed with a signature fashion sense. The pompadour haircut, sides slicked back with pomade, is a commonly used look to portray the greaser subculture. Denim jeans, a leather jacket, and military boots or Converse shoes completed the greaser appearance. Although greasers are typically portrayed as male, they also had female counterparts. A leather jacket worn on top of a poodle skirt or straight-leg pants was the look of the female greaser.

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How to Dress for a Renaissance Fair

When you pass through the gates of a Renaissance fair, you leave the modern world behind and enter into the realm of 16th century England, the era of Queen Elizabeth I. Entering this world of historical re-enactment can be both fun and educational. Fair participants dress in 16th-century fashion and play the roles of Elizabethan society members.

Dressing up for a Renaissance fair is easy to do. To get started, think about the different societal roles in 16th century England and the fairs that would have inspired our modern events. Queen Elizabeth was known to escape the oppressive heat and travel to the English countryside during the summer months. As she passed through rural areas, fairs built up to welcome her. In this era, nothing was more important than meeting or seeing the monarch. The entire population came out in their best dress to be in the presence of the queen.

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Victorian Wedding Dresses and Traditions

Many of today’s wedding rituals first came about during the Victorian era. Similar to modern times, weddings could be grand affairs, and from early childhood, girls often focused on their wedding days, learning songs and rhymes as well as superstitions about everything from the date chosen for the event to the dress the bride would wear. Though a modern observer might find many aspects of a Victorian wedding familiar, there were several customs and traditions that didn’t stand the test of time.

The Engagement

The engagement period during the Victorian era was an important time. With the presentation of the engagement ring, the man signified his commitment to the future marriage. Because marital matches occurred within a definite social class, these future unions usually involved economic decisions that benefited both families. Engaged couples had more freedom in their contact with each other compared to those who were courting; however, most families continued to require that an engaged couple be chaperoned when they spent time together. The bride chose the wedding day, and the bride’s parents paid for the trousseau. After wedding invitations were sent, the bride could no longer appear in public until the wedding.

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