Monday, September 24, 2012

Ready to Wear by Lauri Robinson

New clothing was not overly accessible to most men and women in the west. When you needed a new set of ‘duds’ you had to go to a tailor or dress maker and have them made. Very few ‘mercantiles’ sold new clothing, however, many did sell ‘ready to wear’ clothes. These were outfits discarded by the higher class, or just those that had ‘out grown’ their clothes and needed a new set.

It wasn’t unusual for cowboys to wear suit pants and a vest (silk not leather) while riding the range, because the ‘fancier’ the clothes, the harder it was for the store to sell them. Therefore, the ‘fancy duds’ sold for cheaper. That also explains while chimney sweeps always wore top hats and tuxedos. Cheap wear for a very dirty job.

There was big business in ‘ready to wear’ clothes for all the people moving west, and entrepreneurs would scavenge the ‘castaways’ discarded by the wealthier set back east and drive wagons of clothing west, peddling their wares as they went.

In my November 1st release from Harlequin, Unclaimed Bride, heroine Constance Jennings had to sell several outfits in order to pay for food and shelter before she left New York for Wyoming as a mail order bride. Hence, upon her arrival, it’s bitterly cold and she has no coat—yes, she sincerely regrets selling it—especially when it means Ellis Clayton, a complete stranger, has to buy her a new one at a very exorbitant price, indebting her to him even more.

Unclaimed Bride
Running from the past…she bumps into her future!

Mail-order bride Constance Jennings steps off the stage in Cottonwood, Wyoming, and waits for her husband-to-be. But he never shows up, and instead several other men are vying to take his place!

Single father Ellis Clayton must be the only man in town not looking for a bride. But his young daughter's habit of rescuing wounded critters means he ends up offering Constance a temporary shelter.

Having a woman around the house again is all too easy—especially seeing her bond with his daughter—but Ellis can't seem to let go of the past. Problem is, neither can Constance. And hers is about to catch up with her….


  1. I didn't know that's what ready to wear meant. In all my research I hadn't come across that. Thanks for giving me another tidbit of information! And good luck with this awesome story!

  2. Lauri, facinating information. Who knew? Wonderful story to give us another insight into the West we love so much. Thank you!

  3. Lauri, I had no idea that's what "ready to wear" meant. Love the cover and the title. Makes you wonder how often brides arrived and the groom-to-be had changed his mind, doesn't it?

  4. Well, thanks, Lauri--we all learned something. I had no idea. You know all the department stores in the 40s and 50s used that term--Sears, Ready to Wear Clothing. I suppose no one knew where or how the term originated.
    Congratulations on your first Harlequin release, too--that is wonderful, and I wish you all the success!

  5. Lauri--I couldn't get the video to open.

  6. Loved learning about ready to wear since I have a passel of orphans to clothe in my current WIP. How every clever of them to recycle clothes like that. Great post.

    Good luck with your story, Lauri.

  7. Glad you all enjoyed the post!

    Celia, I have no idea what video you are talking about. :(

    Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Lauri--does anyone else see the big gray square at the beginning of your post? In the middle of it is a smaller square with an arrow--it doesn't work, but it's the kind of thing you get when you go to a utube--click on the arrow and a trailer or something begins. This is very mysterious--why is it in your post on my computer--or does anyone else see it? Weird.

  9. Lauri--I went to Posts, and clicked on yours from there--and the big gray square was in the draft form--I didn't intend to get to the draft form, but I did--so I immediately hit publish to put it back. Now, it's even more weird--when I opened up the published blog, the square is gone.
    The goblins are out early, it seems!

  10. Goblins must be out, because I never did see the big gray square. I lifted the picture off Wiki, so maybe it came from there.

  11. Thanks for this terrific info, Lauri. Sending you huge congrats on your new book! I love the title and cover. Mail order brides so touch my heart...but only of course if they didn't end up with a creep LOL.


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