11.13.2009

Gentle Hobbies and Grand Passions, Part Two

It could be argued that the Victorian sidesaddle riding habit is one of the garments that laid the foundations for later Steampunk interpretations of the dress of the period. One of the hallmarks of Steampunk fashion for women is androgyny, whether it be a hint contained in a few details or accessories, or the full-on adoption of male clothing. The Victorian riding habit typically had almost masculine tailoring and simplicity, quite a contrast to the lace and ruffles of feminine dress of the time. The result was startling when compared with normal modes of dress, as well as alluring and elegant.

Victorian-era Fashion Plate


With Blackbird, my new horse, housed safely in her stall, I knew it was time to find riding gear. Something simple and elegantly tailored. Nothing in the way of frills or fuss. Enter the Victorian Riding Kip by Skye Qi.

Supremely unfussy, both in lines and rendering cost, this outfit is a very good value at L$150. The Riding Kip is primarily system clothing, very well-textured and shaped, with garments on the underpinnings level as well as the outerwear level. It comes with undershirt, blouse, glitchies, skirt, and gloves. Prim accessories include riding hat and cane.

I was happy to discover that the pieces are modifiable, so I tinted my riding kip from the original vanilla to my favorite soft cocoa brown. Besides, one couldn't possibly wear white after Labor Day.

The skirt of Miss Qi's riding kip has just enough bustle to create a really lovely line from shoulders to toes, while flashing a daring hint of ankle. The texturing, one of the things I focus on when evaluating an outfit, is really quite nice. The fabric of the kip is obviously very sturdy, and meant for a day's riding, able to protect the wearer from scratches and the like.

Ladylike Sidesaddle

Bustle view.

A horse is a horse and a man is a man
And neither can be the other
And each can survive but is much better
In the company of one another.
~ Tomás Ó Cárthaigh


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