Bath Fashion Museum

I’m currently eating a brownie and wearing head to toe lycra hand-me-downs from my mom. So obviously, I am in a position to talk about fashion. Did I mention it’s Lululemon lycra? Fitness couture, baby!

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The Bath Fashion Museum was founded by Doris Langley Moore and came to the Assembly Rooms in 1963. The exhibits are constantly changing but the goal is to collect and present pieces of fashion that possess both historical significance and style. Admittedly, I’m not a fashion expert but my mom and aunt did make many of my clothes growing up so I can at least appreciate the work that went into many of these outfits. I was their human baby doll for many years and as a result, the majority of my childhood photos involve me wearing traditional Norwegian costumes (bunads) while holding a violin. In fact, if I didn’t know any better, I would think that was the only thing I ever wore up until middle school.

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As usual, the Bacon Bit wasn’t in the mood for dress-gazing and instead opted to run through the exhibits squealing as the Sarge chased after her. It’s a lot of fun anytime we’re around. In the few minutes I had to actually enjoy some of the dresses, I noticed how much smaller the average dress and shoe size were compared to present day. Granted, some of this was due to the help of corsets but the shoes especially were incredibly small.

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Halfway through the museum, there was a dress-up area for kids. This managed to distract Lena for all of two minutes before she took off again. The sample outfits were sized for elementary age kids rather than toddlers but I think this would be a fun stop had Lena been a bit older. The styles spanned many different centuries and there were outfits for both boys and girls.

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I was really intrigued by these gloves though I had a tough time getting a picture that did them justice. They’re over 400 years old so would have been worn during Shakespeare’s time (1600s). Very few items of clothing from that era survived so it was a rare treat to actually see these in person. The bead work was beautiful and there were a few other pairs on display as well – all of them telling a story in the cuff detail.

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The last bit of the museum contained more contemporary items and I loved this flapper dress. My paternal great-grandma was married in a dress similar to this one and I’ve always loved looking at the photograph. The pearls on the front of the dress cascade down the front, diminishing in size as they go which created a beautiful effect.

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I was surprised to see how styles had been recycled over the years as well – what’s old is new again. However, I didn’t see anything that resembled my current outfit of fitness turned daywear. So I’m thinking that must mean I’m quite a trendsetter. You’ll notice my outfit for the day at the museum was very fashion forward as well. I call it homeless meets hand-me-down; it’s kind of like the new version of mom jeans. You just have to find some clothes that kind of fit from your pre- and post-baby wardrobe then layer them all together and voila! Mommy chic.

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You may recognize this dress from Jennifer Lopez fame. I did find it strange they chose Cher as the model, though.

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We did a quick sprint through the last of the museum stopping to let Lena sketch up an outfit to add to the style wall. Jason and Lena had soaked up all the fun they could handle so we decided to head outdoors for some more sightseeing.

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The Royal Mineral Water Hospital was founded in 1738 and now specializes in the treatment of rheumatic diseases. Beginning in the 16th century, the poor would come to this place to drink the water which was thought to have healing properties.

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Bath Abbey is also incredibly impressive though we didn’t venture inside as it was getting late. The fountain outside the church reads, “Water is Best.” Obviously, these people are serious about their liquid.

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The Bacon Bit has no fear and decided she wanted to walk on the ledge overlooking the Pulteney Bridge. I’m fairly confident we made at least a few people question our parenting abilities by letting her walk up here but Jason had a steady grip on her. Also, she was wearing her trusty leash which also acts as a harness for falling children. No?

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To end our night, we walked up near the Royal Crescent for a family photo before eating dinner. It’s a street of 30 terraced houses laid out in a semi-circle and the facade looks today much as it did when originally built in the 1770’s. It’s one of the best examples of Georgian architecture in the UK and is a favorite spot for film and television shows.

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In honor of our anniversary, we treated ourselves to a three course meal at Rustico Bistro Italiano. It was probably the most delicious Italian food I’ve ever eaten. I can’t recommend it enough. Lena sat so quietly for the entire meal that we almost forgot she was there. It was as close to a date night as you can get while still having your little monster with you. Jason got really excited when we walked in because he spotted a picture of Henry Winkler with the restaurant owner. So he immediately proclaimed that the food would be amazing. In case you’re confused, Henry Winkler is approved by association. He starred in Happy Days with Ron Howard who starred in the Andy Griffith show with one Don Knotts. Also known as Jason’s man crush. Who did I marry?!

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