Questions & Answers

When someone asks me a question about historical clothing, I always want to give┬áthem correct information, and I try to add appropriate caveats that are appropriate for the specific answer I’m giving. If I’m sure of an answer because I know of two examples in written accounts, I can answer confidently. In other cases, I’m not sure of the answer, give my best response, and make sure the person understands just how sure or unsure I am of my answer.

Just as important as getting the answer right, though, is getting the question right. I’ve seen several online conversations this week where it was clear that the problem was not the answer, but the question. Often people don’t know what they don’t know, and they don’t understand that they’re not asking the question that they actually want answered.

Continue reading