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                    • I probably overdid it a little on this threat. But I just couldn't resist

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                      • I quite like this one. A Gendarme officer of the Imperial Guard with the regimental mascot!?

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                        • Originally posted by Balloonatic View Post
                          I was thinking the same thing the other day, it might be accounted for by the fact that people were smaller. That said, military prints tend to emphasise small feet and tight trousers even today. Some of the ones in our mess are very effeminate which always struck me as odd. Of course the British army is so mired in tradition and trying to make things look old that it could just be that.
                          I think it may be a myth that people were smaller. Many of the uniforms we see in museums are small but I heard an explanation for that - namely that these were the ones that were never issued due to their size. If you look at some of the tunic examples on the uniforms thread, the shoulders tend to be gathered along the collar bone, and are padded after the shoulder. These days men's suits for example are padded at the shoulder to give a squarer-shouldered look, as became the norm later in the 19th century. It's very hard to see beyond our contemporary ideal for both men and women but I find these details essential to the period.

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                          • I generally agree, though statistics I've seen seem to dictate that the average height has gone up over the last couple of centuries (as someone mentioned on another thread, average height in France around 1815 was 5'6" ish where as now it is closer to 5'10"), not much of a change but diet etc would also suggest people are now more heavily built too.

                            Again, it is very interesting, it is particularly strange when you see re-enactors who are wearing things in a style that they think looks good without realising that our modern esthetic is often rather different to that of the period they re-enact.
                            "Little pigs, little pigs, I've come to nick your tele!"

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                            • Agree completely regarding reenactors. I used to do Napoleonic reenactment in the 70s btw. Aside from often looking overweight and/or too old, the clothes look much too 'comfortable' and usually fail to look as though they're working uniforms. The other side of the coin, which is something that started in the 70s, is there's a campaign look that seems to channel spaghetti westerns. It is impossible NOT to see the past through the veil of our present. I would imagine the same was true of Detaille and Meissonier. Much as I love their work, they were both painting 60 years after the fact. One of the fascinating things about this era is that we will NEVER really know what it looked like. I often wonder if hyperthetical photos from the period would be dissapointing?

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                              • Agreed entirely, I love the way that however scruffy British soldiers look in pictures they remain the resolute, red jacketed warriors and yet when you read accounts they describe men in patched trousers and jackets faded almost to pink (I read something about British troops in India who's 'white' trousers were as pink as their jackets due to the dye running).

                                I did WW2 soviet re-enactment and was always amazed by how clean peoples kit was. I never washed mine which left it a little smelly (usually it smelled of bonfire) and it started to look appropriately dirty, even so the modern aesthetic was still very much in evidence with the way people wore clothes, hair and so on (and I even got the spelling right this time, check me!)
                                "Little pigs, little pigs, I've come to nick your tele!"

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