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Bridal Club Magazine

What is in a Bridal Trousseau?

The word trousseau is a French term, given to the clothing that a bride assembles in preparation for her forthcoming marriage.  Traditionally called a 'hope chest' and made of cedar wood, it also included bridal accessories, lingerie, toiletries, jewelry, make-up and the Manchester items that she would be using in her new home.

In Victorian times, the measure of a young woman's trousseau was a sign of the wealth status and social class of the family she came from.  It was also symbolic of transition, leaving home, virginity and the domestic arts.  Like today, they consisted of brand-new clothing matched to see the bride though her wedding, honeymoon and newlywed days.  Mostly these garments were handsewn by a mother, aunt, grandmother or the girl herself.

Families of higher social status would hire the skills of professionals to outfit the young bride for her trousseau.

So, is it necessary to have a trousseau today?
The cedar chests are still manufactured and sold but are used more often than not, for storage purposes.  Most brides receive an abundance of necessary and unnecessary household items, for showers, engagement and wedding presents.  For this reason, gift registries have become increasingly popular to save doubling up on presents.

Cash gifts are also helpful and practical as it leaves the couple free to purchase products that are relevant to their needs.

What does that leave for the modern bride to put in her own trousseau should she choose to follow through with this tradition?
Things that make sense for your lifestyle and the things that you love.  The things that define who you are, the person you want yourself to be as you start your new life together.  Choose clothes that make you feel sexy, special and confident.  Most importantly, they should fit your shape, don't buy something you have grand hopes of fitting into for that particular night or day.   Don't feel pressured by pushy sales people to look like something you are not comfortable with. Remember that it's the sale they are interested in.

Make your trousseau a 'treasure chest' of luxuries that have meaning and celebrate you. Happy shopping.

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