Really, it does seem incredible to have so much stuff labeled “mourning” when you browse through Ebay. One of these days some seller is going to realize mauve and grey are “half-mourning” colors and we are going to have a whole new flood of “mourning wear.”
So what is the difference between black and truly deep mourning? Real mourning is plain, and drab- for example http://antiquedress.com/item4858.htm is an Edwardian gown covered in crepe, no jet, no beads, no froths of lace. In other words this is a dress that conveys sadness, despite its stylish cut.
This on the the other hand http://antiquedress.com/item1660.htm is a “little black dress” of the same era.
This is a mourning hat http://antiquedress.com/item6507.htm notice how the only “decoration” on it is not faceted or twinkly. This is also mourning but is “second mourning” http://antiquedress.com/item6386.htm and would be worn after the first heavy mourning period. Notice the crepe (the crinkly silk on it).
This bonnet is probably NOT mourning http://www.bobbydene.com/images/ht2062.jpg but simply a “little black hat”
I just completed the creation of an 1880's mourning bonnet. Mourning is something Wicked seems to have gotten a lot of practice in lately, you might say there is a piece of my heart in this particular hat, but then again Wicked's family has always adored a good hat!