Sarah Chrisman was enamored with the Victorian lifestyle since she was a child, and wanted to live in a an old home with polished woodwork. She did not grow out of that obsession; but grew up to live it. She even married a historian who shares her interest in living an anachronistic life.
Not that the course of true love ever has run smooth. We collected antique clothing and although with patience it was possible to find suits which fit my husband's measurements, for me there seemed no hope. Victorian women's clothing, of course, was always made to the measurements of a corseted body, and my natural waistline was anything but that.
When my husband gave me my first corset as a gift for my 29th birthday, I had extreme doubts -- but then, love makes us all do things we would never have expected. There was something enchanting about the image the first time I saw my corseted form in a mirror's silvered glass, as if that figure had at last banished the hex of modernity. I altered my modern clothes to fit my new form and soon I started making replicas of my Victorian clothes to wear every day, doing away with the modern garments altogether.
Now we live in a house which was built in 1888,[ in the historic district of Port Townsend, Washington, a city which prides itself on being one of America's few remaining Victorian seaports. The corner grocery where I buy my milk first opened its doors in 1895.
In an article at XOJane, Chrisman lets us in on more details as she gathers the trappings and practices of 19th century life, like using the shampoos and inks of the era. She and her husband Gabriel are fashion historians, and she's written a book about their lifestyle.