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Why, Oh Why Do they…

January 6, 2011
…make kids wear stupid mob-caps when doing Victorian re-enactments…?!!!
Yes, I grew up thinking that Victorian girls all went about wearing this simple headgear.  Why?  Because adults said so, that’s why!  Adults dressed up in Victorian-‘style’ costume and sported a mob-cap to top it off.
Victorians did NOT wear mob-caps!  Mob-caps were primarily an 18th century indoor item.  (If anyone finds a photograph of a school group with girls wearing these caps…please let me know!)  By this time they were worn by servants, and had shrunk to perch on top of the head.
In the late 17th century, women and girls wore a cap called a fontange.   It was basically a mob-cap with a tower of lace frills at the front.
Fontange of 1713 
As the years went by, the height of the standing lace confection got smaller until the cap looked like this…
The caps grew in size as the century progressed, before shrinking again, and as they changed, with the fashions of the time, so too did the names…such as Biggin or Cornette.
Early 19th century 
Icannot tell you where the name ‘mob-cap’ originated, or when, but it’s possible that the name came into being at the time of the French Revolution, when the mobs gathered and rioted.
The point is that children are being mis-informed! As far as I’m concerned they might as well teach children that the Battle of Waterloo was fought in Japan on 23 September 1963…or that Kennedy was assasinated by an armadillo with a banana…or…you get the idea!!
Anyway, I have trawled through pictures of Victorian children, and not one of them sports a stupid mob-cap!!!

OK…rant over…I’ll put the soapbox away, now!!
7 Comments leave one →
  1. Reah permalink
    January 6, 2011 3:36 pm

    Oh dear Sandi..Not the mob cap nonesense/misunderstanding again. When will they kearn!! lol.
    To be honest until you pointed it out to me during a conversation we were having yonks ago, I must admit I too believed that’s what they wore. I remember when my girls were at school and having their Victorian dress up days they all wore these kinds of caps. Silly really, you’d think schools and teachers would know such things wouldn’t you.
    As for Kennedy being assasinated by a banana toting armadillo..I’d be careful if I were you those conspiracy theorists will be after you..Did make me chuckle though :o)

    (Oh It’s me Maria from Facebook in case you were wondering, just use a different name over here ;o)

    • January 6, 2011 8:32 pm

      I can see it’s you, Maria, I remember you posted poetry and shared a link to your WP blog.
      This was one of my old WLS blogs, but the pictures haven’t transferred over, so I will have to go trawling through more costume images online, to see if I can find and replace…oh, well…!!

  2. January 18, 2011 2:41 pm

    Either you fixed the pictures or they fixed themselves but I can see them 🙂
    I can remember you saying about this before too! I think we need to get you a louder soap box so that they can here you Sandi, they might get it right then.
    At least you continue to educate us in the process eh?

    • January 18, 2011 3:07 pm

      Hi Rachel…yes, this is an old blog that has been edited.
      I don’t think that there is one person out there, who loves historical costuming or re-enactments, who doesn’t have a bug-bear when it comes to things being mis-represented or taught wrong. One blogger has a thing about Victorian drawers, and hates it when people call them bloomers. Bloomers were not underwear, they were outer wear worn for cycling or outdoor pursuits.

  3. hilary donaldson permalink
    July 30, 2011 10:43 am

    my bugbear is ladies who go to such effort to get a nice regency costume then straighten their hair and leave it hanging round their face, spoiling the whole effect,stuff it under the bonnet or cap, or in my case,turban

    • July 30, 2011 12:24 pm

      I agree with you Hilary…beautiful costumes and bad hair…no no no no!!!

      I have also seen a photo of a woman who had her hair perfectly styled…then another shot of her showed her weaing a modern long dress! Was I disappointed! I was expecting to see a period correct ensemble.

      I can’t do much with my hair, so a hat/bonnet/turban is my choice too. The materials for a cap are still awaiting the construction process.

  4. September 29, 2011 3:46 pm

    Now that’s the kind of thing they need on QI for a question in the General Ignorance round.
    What I want to know is whats the difference between a coif and a mob cap? they seem to perform the same role.

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