Answering Your Most Pressing Questions: the Fourth


One of our favorite past times here at Frock Flicks HQ is to take a glance a the search terms that people use to land on our website. Not surprisingly, a lot of it is searching for a specific film, or actor, but quite a few searches are a good bit more bewildering, esoteric, or just downright weird. But we love a good challenge, and we’re helpers, so every so often we compile these search terms and take a stab at answering them as best we can. You can read the previous installments of this series here, here, and here.


outlander nipple dress historically accurate

breast hanging dress outlander

“Breast hanging dress” is just about the best description of that famous Outlander ensemble, so good that despite having addressed this previously, I’m allowing it again. And, actually, now that I look, we’ve never addressed the historical accuracy of it.

Outlander 2x2 nipple swans

As mentioned in our recap of that episode, the pierced nipple swans come from the book. Have I ever seen anything involving nipple piercing from the 18th century? Never. Of course, it’s not something I’ve gone looking for, but I feel like it would have come up?

What about boobs literally hanging out of your dress? Okay, so there ARE some portraits showing something like this (although usually it’s a regular bodice that’s not totally fastened), usually as a sign of maternity … and there ARE some fashion plates that show this, and NOT necessarily as a sign of maternity! Did anyone ever actually walk around with the full boob out? Again, I don’t know, but I haven’t come across it, other than those visual sources.

Ronit Milano’s book The Portrait Bust and French Cultural Politics in the Eighteenth Century actually gets into the issue of boobs-out in artwork. He writes:

“These depictions of exposed breasts in portraits stripped of an allegorical context were created by men who were extremely close to the sitters … [These] were extremely private portraits. Their designation for the private sphere further suggests a familial rather than an erotic focus, and a use of the exposed breast and overt smile to touch upon the themes of maternity, nourishment, exemplary wifehood, and familial happiness.”


Adélaïde Victoire Hall [the painter's daughter] by Peter Adolf Hall, 1785, The Wallace Collection, London

One of these private, happy maternity portraits | Adélaïde Victoire Hall [the painter’s daughter] by Peter Adolf Hall, 1785, The Wallace Collection, London

Gallerie des Modes et Costumes Français. 11e. Cahier des Costumes Français. 5e Suite d'Habillemens à la mode en 1778. L.63 "La petite Mere au Rendez-vous des Champs Elisées..." Boston Museum of Fine Arts

A 1778 fashion plate with exposed nips | Gallerie des Modes et Costumes Français. 11e. Cahier des Costumes Français. 5e Suite d’Habillemens à la mode en 1778. L.63 “La petite Mere au Rendez-vous des Champs Elisées…” Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

spying on nun jenny augutter havingsex

I will NEVER not be amused at your weird fetishes, people. I shudder to google “Jenny Agutter” “sex scene” for you, but I can point you to our Woman Crush Wednesday on her, and let you get back to us on any sex scenes (Trystan adds: maybe this search came up because Agutter has played the chief nun on Call the Midwife since 2012? Is there some crazy Daily Mail rumor floating around that we’re not aware of?).

I feel like if we could mash that up with Raquel Welch as a boobs-out nun wearing gogo boots in Bluebeard (1972) this person would be in heaven…

1972 Bluebeard

According to Wikipedia, “Set in Austria in the 1930s, Baron Kurt von Sepper is a World War I veteran fighter pilot with a reputation as a ‘ladykiller’ and a frightening blue-tinged beard. In public the Baron carefully maintains his image as a war hero, a seemingly devout Catholic and a patriotic member of the Fatherland Front, but the Baron has two dark secrets he is keen to hide. All of his previous wives have died in mysterious circumstances, victims of the Baron’s impossibly high standards, and he exploited the chaos of the Austrian Civil War to instigate a pogrom against a Jewish community.” I’m not sure how the cleavage or gogo boots work here, but whatever!


versailles pee floor

how did ladies go to the resteroom in heavy gowns

corset restroom

versailles poo

where did people go to the toilet in 1800 england

I say it every time, YOU PEOPLE ARE SCATALOGICAL. I feel like we need an Everybody Poops: Historical Edition book for potty training adults! People! The human body has not changed that much since Homo Sapien became a thing!

Ok, so you want to know WHERE THE POOP WENT. And also, how people managed “heavy gowns” to do so. I guess no bride has ever pooped in the history of modern weddings?


La Toilette intime by François Boucher, 1760s, via Wikimedia Commons.

LOOK SHE IS PEEING INTO A VESSEL (“bourdaloue”) NOT ON THE FLOOR | La Toilette intime by François Boucher, 1760s, via Wikimedia Commons.

Ta da! Here, read about some peeing-on-the-floor in 19th-century British theaters and fulfill your gross-out quota for the day.


collection of orphan annie figurines for sale

Mostly I want to know how the hell this search brought someone to our site. I mean yes, we’ve reviewed the cinematic masterpiece that is Annie (1982). But I feel like you’d need to get DEEP into your Google results to get to that. What gives?

1982 Annie

Besides, the star of Annie is really Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan, so collect HER figurines!


what what is hygiene like in the 1600s

victorian hygiene practices

history of reasons people refused to bathe in the 1800s

Meh, I’m sick of this one. Go listen to our first Outlander podcast!


sex costumes for bad girls

Bad how? Like, didn’t do their chores bad? Uses two spaces after a period bad? Refuses to wear a mask in public bad? Side parts their historical hairstyles bad???

Sandition (2019)

Naughty Sanditon (2019)!

And honestly, what about the “sex costumes for good girls” market? Do they not get to play dress up?

Here’s some good Bad Girl costumes, please report back on whether they would be good for having sex in if you try them:

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (2020)

Honestly, anything from Penny Dreadful: City of Angels (2020).

Penny Dreadful

As well as the original Penny Dreadful.

Salem (2014)

Salem‘s spiderweb dress — as well as the rest of its wardrobe — would suit.

Sense and Sensibility (1995), Fanny Dashwood

You could also take a different tack and dress as one of the iconic Regency Bad Girls, like Fanny here from Sense and Sensibility (1995).



NOW you’re talking my fetish, baby! Probably you’ll be most interested in our post about the headwear in The Affair of the Necklace, which is stunning:

The Affair of the Necklace (2001)

As I said in my post, it’s a hat porn fiesta!

But there are also great hats in:

2020 Emma

Emma (2020)

Trumbo (2015)

Trumbo (2015)

And many others! Check out our “spiffy hats” and “chic hats” tags.


tits out thursday

Maybe we need to alternate our Throwback Thursday posts with this new theme? It’s not like there aren’t plenty of historical movies and TV shows that feature women with their tits out, and hey, Trystan is the originator of the maxim “I don’t care if it’s historically accurate, I just want my tits out.”

North and South (1985)

I’d suggest starting with our recaps of North and South (1985), where we literally nicknamed the main female character “Tits Out.”

War and Peace (2016)

Depending on your taste, you might enjoy all the anachronistic sternum in War and Peace (2016).

Moll Flanders (1996)

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (1996) was very committed to getting the tits out; bonus, it’s a great series and the costumes are mostly fab!

1978 The Bastard

There’s inappropriate cleavage galore in The Kent Family Chronicles.


16 century france young teenage girls for sex

I really hope that this search is for historical research, and not some more sinister time-traveling plot. Ages of consent certainly varied; according to the Encyclopedia of Women in the Renaissance, a 1576 English law changed the age of consent there from 12 to 10, which, shudder

But because I refuse to endorse child porn, maybe you should watch:

Romeo and Juliet (1968) costume review

It’s not set in France, but Romeo and Juliet (1968) is probably your quintessential teen romance

Mary, Queen of Scots married the French dauphin when she was only 16; you can see rare depictions of her first marriage in:

Reign (2013-present)

and Reign (2013-2017)

The Princess of Montpensier (2010)

The Princess of Montpensier shows a not-too-old woman forced to marry against her will? Do tears do it for ya?


porn with crowns

Okay, there may actually be a hole in the market for this? I’m not going to research whether there’s any royalty-themed porn, but we do know people who make and wear crowns, so if you need us to hook you up, let us know.

Maybe one of the crowns on our top 5 list will suit your needs, like this one from Hamlet (1990).


why is jack sparrow so changed in miss fisher’s modern mysteries

I’m not sure if I’ve ever read such an existential question in my life. Did Jack Sparrow find the secret of eternal youth and make it to 1960s Australia? Is this another time travel question? Would Miss Fisher’s Modern Mysteries be more entertaining with some drunken pirate witticisms? (OK so the obvious answer to that last question is YES YES YES.)

Pirates of the Caribbean series (2003-)

MORE OF THIS, only, 1960s murder-mystery style.


how is mr. darcy different from the other men

Ohhhhhhh, GURL.

Mr. Darcy is tall:

He’s handsome:

He’s rich AF:

Pride & Prejudice (2005) - Matthew Macfadyen

Matthew Macfadyen in Pride & Prejudice (2005).

He’s grumpy but learns how to be nice JUST FOR YOUUUUUUUUU:


girl fights from cowboy films

Are we talking women wielding guns? Because then you should check out:

Hostiles 2017

Hostiles (2017)


Bad Girls (1994)

Michelle Dockery, Godless (2017)

Godless (2017)

If you’re thinking more hair pulling and ruffled panties, you can do no better than:


make dresses like demelza


Poldark (2015)


Caroline Poldark (2017)

At least make something from Caroline’s wardrobe!


Then you have a reason to have a pug as an accessory!


is emma a chick flick

Is Jane Austen “women’s” literature? I would argue no, that people of any gender could enjoy her excellent writing and the many films/TV adaptations thereof. That being said:

2020 Emma

The most recent Emma (2020) is very tea-cuppy.

EMMA 1996

If you’re anti-chick flick, you’ll probably fall asleep through the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma (1996).

Emma (2009)

Personally I’d try the 2009 Emma, which is very naturalistic…

Or the 1996 BBC miniseries, which is more tart.


the vvitch cleavage

So depending on where you are in the world, the “W” key and “V” keys are actually not that close togethe r… but maybe you live in a non-W-language country? BUT THEN HOW DO YOU HAVE WASCALLY WABBITS!!

Trystan adds — Maybe they’re referring to the 2015 historical horror movie The Witch? It’s logo used the “VV” format, like this:

The Witch (2015)

And our review included some promo / behind-the-scenes pix where the witchy character has a lot of cleavage for an otherwise very historically accurate flick:

The Witch (2015) The Witch (2015)


lifting the skirt meaning


2016 Roots


Nell Gwyn (1926)


My Cousin Rachel (1952)


2017 Maria Theresia ep1

Fair warning: we will screencap it Every. Single. Time. You. Do. It. (Maria Theresia)


pron hat

Did you mean “prawn hat”? Because that could be entertaining in a Schiaparelli sort of way!

Restoration (1995)

There are prawn jokes in Restoration (1995)!


in wuthering heights bbc what is heathcliff wearing around his neck

I don’t know, what IS he wearing around his neck?

Ralph Fiennes, Wuthering Heights (1992)

A cravat? (Wuthering Heights, 1992)

Some kind of ratty scarf? (Wuthering Heights, 1967)

Wuthering Heights (2009)

Deep-seated, unresolved issues? (Wuthering Heights, 2009)


bad costumes spanish princess

You said it, baby.

The Spanish Princess - Princess Margaret

Poor dumpy Margaret (center) in vague attempt at a Burgundian gown (left and right)

2019 The Spanish Princess

Poor Catherine (center) in her power-generating version of a Spanish hooped skirt (left and right).

The Spanish Princess 2019

POOR LINA, whose dress isn’t sure if it’s coming or going!


when was the first metal grommets

Excellent question, since they are the visible panty line of costume! One of the earliest patents I can find mentioning “metal eyelets” is from 1837. According to Jill Salen’s book Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques, metal grommets date from about 1830. A cursory search of various Pinterest boards of extant corsets shows me metal grommets on 1840s corsets, but fewer or none from the 1830s and earlier, so that checks out.

See some interesting 19th-century corsets on screen in:

Possession (2002)

Possession (2002)




You probably want this viral mansplaining chart, but we can offer you a prime example in the comments on our Elizabeth podcast.



frenchie wig


This is Jason Schwartzman’s dog Arrow, on the set of Marie Antoinette (2006).

Also check out:


i wasn’t made to be relatable

fist bump



Keep doing your wacky searches, people!

21 Responses

  1. Londonkds

    Doesn’t the reference to a rendezvous on the Champs-Elysees in the fashion plate caption imply that the lady in the bare-boobs dress is a hooker?

    • Daniel Milford-Cottam

      I read an interpretation of that infamous image a couple of years ago which suggests the diaphanously dressed lady is not a hooker, but may have been mistaken for one, because she is making a highly offended hand gesture at the Incroyable who has propositioned her.

  2. Vee

    Great post Kendra
    For all those toilet questions try this:

    Mainly Victorian I know but the skills could be transposed.

    • MoHub

      As Gilbert put it: “Go down on the po (pot de chambre), and come up lightly.”

  3. Shashwat

    lifting the skirt meaning Did they expect an answer on the lines of Newton with lifting having to do something with gravity and change of potential energy?
    I think FF can offer a lot of advice to the shadier(well not that shady)sites on the web.These pressing questions reflect a deep insight into the taste and demands of the concerned citizens.Hats,crowns and a whole lot of paraphernalia that could be the foundation of an entirely different genre on the subject of visceral bliss.

  4. Sissy

    About the 1st and pressing issue: Have you heard of/seen Anna Dorothea Therbusch’s portrait of Wilhelmine Enke Countess Lichtenau, mistress to the Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm II, in her very practical hunting habit? It is of representational size but was meant to be hung in the king’s private rooms – which she designed – at the Potsdam Marmor Palais, if I remember that correctly. The ‘neckline’ hardly has anything to do with the neck anymore – probably could have been made ‘presentable’ only with a carefully draped fichu or sth like that – or would the lapels have been turned up usually?

  5. Constance

    I am blushing, I am so basic I searched for historical costume drama blog….:(

  6. Daniel Milford-Cottam

    Regarding prawn hats, apparently a milliner called Alice Henri made a hat from artificial shrimp in 1954. I’ve only read about it, never seen an image of it.

    That’s the closest Frock Flick historical equivalent I can think of.

  7. mmcquown

    Lucy Worsley pointed out some barbed metal devices installed at Hampton Court to keep people from peeing in the corners of the outside walls.

  8. Coco

    I looked up when the Spanish Princess is back (October 11). The promo image of Catherine in armor is…wild? Abominable? Unrealistic? Non-functional? Camp?
    Double the windmills, baby, it’s season two!

  9. EAG46

    Thank you for posting a link to the “mansplaining” chart. I feel that will come in handy one day. And bless you for the work you do. Stay safe out there.

  10. Katie O.

    I read something the other day that said that people think the reason women love Mr. Darcy is because he’s handsome and rich, but in fact it’s because he respects and acknowledges Elizabeth’s feelings about his behavior and instead of defending himself, takes steps to be a better man with no expectation that it will magically win Elizabeth over.

    And that’s the difference between Mr. Darcy and other men!

  11. Lily Lotus Rose

    I love these posts! 1. I wish I were draped around Ralph Fiennes’s neck in Wuthering Heights and/or IRL! 2. The ’95 Emma is not that bad, people! 3. Cowgirls films: a. Even though her costume is atrocious in that pic, Joan Collins is totally owning everything in that still from The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch. b. Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek were in a western film years ago that I think takes place in the past. 4. That mainsplaining diagram was the laugh I didn’t know I needed until I read it!

  12. Kimberly Hodgkins

    So entertaining! A big thank you for including Wild Women of Chastity Gulch— a very, very bad movie that is so ridiculously fun I’ve lost count of how often I’ve seen it. ❤️
    (And long live Mr Darcy in all his iterations)

  13. Roxana

    The only times a woman has any reason to hike up her skirts is when she’s climbing a steep staircase or running hard. Otherwise no. A slight, very slight, lift of the upper skirt may occasionally be used to show off a decorated underskirt or maybe even a trim ankle.

  14. Aleko

    Except that there is never actually a reason to have a pug as an accessory. The 18th-century pug was a perfectly sensibly and healthily shaped creature with an actual nose that it could, you know, actually breathe through, like this: The modern pug with its punched-in face is a hideous suffering testament to modern humanity’s fondness for cute mutants.

  15. Bella

    Thank you for this hilarious (and obviously necessary) post! A few comments on the pee side: Versailles was actually famously lacking latrines, and when no valets were around people tended to pee behind the curtains (see for example de book “Les lieux, histoire des commodités”, which is basically a history of toilets in the period 1500-1900). Also, the girl on the painting by Boucher might not be peeing but washing herself (as the title of the painting suggests).

  16. Isobel

    Oh my gosh I might be the “versailles pee floor” person. I think I first came across this blog when I was looking for the scene in Versailles (the series) where Philippe talks about himself and Louis peeing on each other in a fight as children and says something like “you pissed on your brother, but I pissed on the king”. I never did find a clip, sadly :( but I found Frock Flicks, and I’m extremely grateful for that!