1899 Gibson Girl Coiffure

I was very pleased with my hair for the 1890s ball! One of the reasons I liked the idea of an 1899 dress is because it is close enough to the turn of the century that a Gibson Girl hair style made sense. My hair loves cooperating in poofy styles, so this was perfect!

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I created the super poof using a pad made from one leg of a pair of tights. It’s stuffed with cheap “wizard beard” hair that would otherwise have gone in the trash. Being stuffed with synthetic hair, the pad is pretty warm. And I did struggle a bit to get bobby pins through the tights–I need to add loops to the ends for next time I think. Aside from those things, though, the pad was perfect!

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I also created a new hair ornament to finish off the coiffure. I had originally thought of bleaching the ostrich feathers to create an aigrette*, like this, but decided that I liked the ostrich feathers as is and didn’t feel like dealing with bleach. There are two feathers: a grey and a white. I found that the white helped create definition for the grey on my dark hair. The sparkly bit is a cheap eBay brooch. I sewed the feathers to it and then used the pin part to bobby pin it in place on my head.

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Success! Look at that haughty Gibson girl look (like this)!

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*An aigrette is a spray of feathers from an egret. Confusing!

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4 responses to “1899 Gibson Girl Coiffure

  1. Thank you for sharing the nitty gritty details. It’s really the details that make your clothing look so period and authentic. And the Gibson Girl style suits you. Well done.

  2. What is “wizard beard?” I’ve been toying with the idea of cutting two or three large bun forms into tubes and sewing them together. Did you braid or twist your bun? Looks good!

    • The wizard beard hair was literally the hair from a cheap costume wizard beard. The bun is more of a twist than anything. It’s all the hair pulled up and over the pad then artfully pinned into a bun shape. I would think that putting readymade bun forms into other shapes would work well to create fun hairstyles, too!

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