Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The indispensable carry-on

LAs a modern woman, my bag is some sort of my back-up home, housing not only keys and purse, but usually one to two books, little medical kit, hankies, electronic devices, sunglasses, cosmetic bag. Customary, it weights a ton.
My réticule for time travels is approximatively the same, and usually the aim of much ridicule in return.
Last year during an event I was suddenly put into the situation of not being allowed to take my réticule along, as carrying train, shawl and a beautiful yet heavy guirlande was all I could manage. 
My solution was simple, I asked Monsieur if he could carry my bare essentials (ID card, emergency money) in his coats pockets, after all, these pockets are deep and sturdy.
Little I did know that this is precisely what women did in the period! 

A couple of days ago I posted about 'The Modern Woman', who carries nothing on her but a book (JdDedM No3, An8 of publication, 15 vendémiaire, An12) 15 days later the fashionable lady carries nothing but a fan. 
And all her necessities go into the gentleman's frock pockets, aptly named 'Ridicule'. In one short paragraph LeMésangère answers our question if these pockets are a reenactorism (No) and if Ladies made use of those pockets (Yes)
I let the man now speak for himself: Journal des Dames et des Modes, No 6, 30 vendémiaire, An12.
Source as usual: BNF via Gallica

Every day ladies erase their pockets and bags, and the gentleman take over. Ladies don't carry anythig, and the men have to burden themselves carrying their indispensables of their companions.
Consequently, to carry glasses, the knotted handkerchief (be sure to check out Sabines recent post, she delves into bag sizes and also into knotted hankies!!), and the small bottles (scent or salts?) of the ladies, men have started to have pockets in their coats again, as one did in earlier times. 
Only the name of those pockets has changed to ridicule, to make its use clear. 
The ladies can't or won't wear anything else than a fan once their in full dress.

P.S.: I prefer to use the expression Réticule, but I discovered that spelling is quite optional (same goes for Schall, Shall, Châle, Châll, Shawl), it is purely my personal preference to spell it that way. 

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