Victorian Fashions for Women (2022)

Victorian Fashions for Women explores the British styles and clothing throughout the long reign of Queen Victoria, from the late 1830s to the first years of the 20th century. Within are a superb overview of the dresses, hats, hair styles, corsetry, undergarments shoes and boots that combined to present the prevailing styles for each decade. From those who had enough money to have day and evening wear and clothes for sports and outdoor activities, to those with limited income and wardrobes or labouring folk with little more than the clothes they stood up in.

All decades are illustrated with original photographs, adverts and contemporary magazine features from the authors' own remarkable collections, accompanied by a knowledgeable and informative text that describes the fashions, their social history context and influences reflected in the clothes of the time. Laid out in a clear and easy-to-follow chronological order, the key features of styles, decoration and accoutrements will help family historians to date family photographs and will provide a useful resource for students and costume historians or for anyone with a love of fashion and style to enjoy.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The title of this book delivers what it promises. Victorian fashion. To fulfil this promise, it has the best structure ever - each chapter describes ten years in the reign of Queen Victoria.

The book is written more for fashion enthusiasts than a person with a general interest in the period. However, I suppose each reader must be pleased with the plenty of included photographs.

I guess that family historians will be satisfied as well. Victorian fashion for women can serve as a handbook of a 19th-century woman because it describes what she wore and the options she faced.

Therefore, I'm going to open this book in the future regularly.

NetGalley, Magdalena Šejdová

Video review featured on Lil's Vintage World, YouTube

(Video) 60 years of Victorian fashions

Lil's Vintage World

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love anything Victorian, and this book is right up my street. Firstly the cover is fabulous, as are the pictures inside. A very educated and informative read.

NetGalley, Wendy M Rhodes

This was a really interesting and informative book and I learnt a lot through reading it. It’s not my area of expertise, but by the end I felt much more informed.

NetGalley, Ruth Parker

Victorian Fashions for Women by Fiona Kay, Neil Storey is a fascinating book on Victorian fashion. It has 70 photos and those pictures offer a good insight into how fashion evolved. I like that the photos are both spread out in the book and also a few are bunched together. For this kind of book is the best way to include them.

The book covers the period between 1840s to the 1890s, inclusive. Each decade has its own chapter and there are two more chapters dedicated to working women and to mourning. Victorian fashion changed a lot, crinoline cage was introduced and the smaller ones were comfortable, something that is mentioned in the book. Usually historians focus only on the negatives of the crinolines, when in fact they were comfortable to wear. I talk from experience when it comes to crinoline cage. When it got to sizes that were way too large than it was a different situation.

The book is short, but the information is nicely presented and it makes for a fast-pace read. It covers topics such as jewellery and accessories too. I had some assumptions regarding black jewellery for example and it was nice to discover that the situation was much more complex. I would highly recommend this book. You can discover all sorts of details on corsets, about shoes in which a rather strange trend emerged at some point, what women wore for outdoor pursuits, and many more.

5/5 stars

Read the full review here

Coffee and Books

An informative look at Victorian fashions. This would be a good book for an historian to add to their collections. As well as genealogist as it would help pinpoint fashion for pictures and paintings.

(Video) Victorian Fashion Is Not What You Think It Is

NetGalley, Carissa Miller

The book is very excellent at giving practical overviews of victorian fashion from each decade, each chapter separated for each 10 year period. Each chapter introduces an overview of foundation layers to outdoor fashion and accessories, noting small changes as time moved on.
The in depth look at working wear and mourning was a great read.

NetGalley, Louise Chase

This is an excellent resource for identifying and understanding Victorian era fashions. The authors are clearly well researched and understand the decades well. In addition, the book does not only discuss high end fashions you see in the ephemera of the time (which were targeted at wealthier women, especially in the early decades) but in all the different levels of fashions (and undergarments, hats, etc.) of the time.

In all, a fabulous read and well worth it for the fashion historian.

NetGalley, Andrea joki

Bringing a cohesive narrative to the trends, influences, & silhouettes of the 19th century, Victorian Fashion for Women is an informative & fascinating read on not only dress history, but the people that created & wore these items as well.

Beginning in the 1840's & ending with the styles of the 1890's, this book, while not a complete comprehensive history, offers an excellent look at fashions for the everyday historian. From Queen Victoria's paramount influence on style, to the working woman, this book gives an intimate look at many details of dress.

Honiton lace, the French inspiration of Romantic era skirts, the incredible yards of fabrics over crinoline that would deflate over the decades to give a slim front & bustled back. The book includes a multitude of pictures, pointing out the historical significance & details one might have otherwise missed, along with some truly enjoyable copies of clothing adds directed at women of the eras. These I found truly fascinating, as over time one could see not just the evolution of clothing, but of women & their places in society as well.

One important point that this book does not blessedly omit, are the undergarments used, as these were essential for giving the shape & structure to the dresses, blouses, & skirts themselves. I also appreciated the addition of common accessories such as hats, jewelry, & shoes. Fabrics & dyes are outlined in a brief overview of the decades at the end of chapters.

A well written & enjoyable book for the curious historian in us all.

NetGalley, Taun M.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A very fun and interesting book, loved the reading and it had some really interesting pictures. This is a must have for any fans of Victorian History and or fashion.

(Video) Why Did Victorian Women Change Their Clothing 5 times a Day? | An Explanation
NetGalley, Heather Bennett

I expected a coffee table book; however, this is a thorough, well researched history of women's dress during the Victorian period. It included vintage photos, advertisements, and other illustrations. The fashions of each decade were presented as individual chapters. The reader could easily focus on a decade of interests. Colors and fabrics popular in each decade are presented with each chapter. Costumes for mourning and mourning rituals were also presented. This book is thoughtfully organized.
This is an excellent resource for students of history and fashion. It is accessible to those who have an interest beyond academics.
Book includes a glossary, index and bibliography.

NetGalley, Claudia Ratay

A great read for anyone interested in clothes and fashion. With a decade for the years 1840 to 1890, the span of Victoria’s reign, the book is comprehensive, detailed and fully illustrated... Really enjoyed it and learnt a lot.

NetGalley, Mandy Jenkinson

This book is perfect for anyone interested in fashion history, especially if you're looking for something that is packed full of information but done through a very concise format! Highly recommend!

NetGalley, Natalie Chiasson

We look back upon Victorian fashions with some bemusement: corsets, bustles and crinolines? Why would anyone want to make life so uncomfortable and difficult for themselves? However, it’s really not that long ago. In 1898, Lady Harberton wasn’t allowed to go into a pub’s coffee room because she was wearing a knickerbocker cycling costume with knee-length breeches – that’s the era of my grandparents. Kew’s first women gardeners were appointed in 1896 – and that was seen as newsworthy across the UK.

The nineteenth century saw the huge expansion of the middle-class. The Industrial revolution created wealth (and yes, a huge amount of poverty and hardship) and a lot of that trickled down through society. The wealthy could afford servants; the railways expanded markets for fresh food and so the increased urban population ate better. Some of that circulating money found its way into the hands of women who spent it upon themselves. Increasing mechanisation also assisted the mass production of items, thus reducing the cost of clothing and accessories and encouraging more purchases rather than mending and re-use of old apparel.

Victorian Fashions for Women by Fiona Kay and Neil R Storey offers precisely what the title states. Each decade from the 1840s to the 1890s is allocated a chapter and we also get two short chapters devoted to Working Women and Mourning. It’s a fairly short book (approx. 175 pages plus index) and is highly readable, although it packs a lot of information into each page.

Each chapter sets the context for the decade before telling us about the ‘look’ of that decade, e.g. changes in the shape of the bodice and sleeves and the changes in hairstyles. We then get sections on foundation garments, accessories, jewellery before the chapter ends with a comprehensive list of fabrics and colours of the decade.

I really enjoyed the book – and I learned a lot. I loved the approach of a chapter per decade. That means that before I read a book by Dickens or Trollope, I can turn to the appropriate chapter in Kay & Storey and get a feel for the ‘look’ for that decade. You might laugh, but someone as incredibly sensitive to female thought and behaviour as Trollope could, in just a sentence or two about Signora Neroni, for example, tell us exactly how she views society – and how it will view her.

(Video) 19th Century Fashion - How To Tell Different Decades Apart?

This book is definitely a keeper!

NetGalley, Colin Edwards

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I like books about fashion and the history of fashion as it's also social history. This one is very good and I learned a lot about the fashion of that age.
It's well explained and researched and entertaining.
Highly recommended.

NetGalley, Anna Maria Giacomasso

As someone who reads historical fiction--mostly romance--I was absolutely in love with this book. This was a very detailed book of Victorian fashion, from sleeve length to mourning clothes rituals. This is definitely the book for someone who wants to learns the ins-and-outs of this type of fashion. I do want to say this: This book is extremely detailed. It would be an excellent read for historians and historical romance authors due to its research-type style. I have a Master's degree in British Literature, and this is something I would definitely use as a source when I do research. It's an insightful read, and I highly recommend it.

NetGalley, Lee Hall

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love the Victorian era and when I saw this book on fashions from that era I was so excited to read it! It’s divided into three different times the beginning the middle and the end and from big bussels to no bussels, to big sleeves to collars that reached their chin it’s all in here and they cover every fashion statement there was from head to toe flappy hats dainty boots etc I love this book and will probably go back and read it again and imagine what it would be like wearing those clothes with the exception of the corset of course. Anyone who loves reading about or dreaming of the Victorian era will love this book. They cover everyone and every accessory it is so so good.

NetGalley, Janalyn Prude

Beautiful photographs and reproductions of advertisements across much of the century help to enhance the descriptions of changing fashions in this book. The book is broken down by decade with a general synopsis of how women's fashions in general changed (and sometimes what influenced that change, like sewing machines or bicycles) before breaking down to specifics like undergarments, jewelry, hair, etc. The last chapter covered a little bit of what women not in the upper classes would have worn as well as changing rules for mourning etiquette. Interesting for those who are interested in reading about the subject.

NetGalley, Anne Morgan

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

(Video) My Victorian/Witchy/Dark Academia Wardrobe | Fighting Fast Fashion

I love this delightful book of Victorian fashions through history. Perfect book for anyone that’s interested in history and fashion. The pictures are great as well!

NetGalley, Lynn Beck

An interesting journey through the fashions of the Victorian era. Fun to read if you have an interest in fashion history. The illustrations are helpful in giving a visual of how women dressed during those times. Thank goodness times have changed...I don't think I could wear soooo many layers.

NetGalley, Mariama Thorlu-Bangura

FAQs

What did ladies wear in the Victorian era? ›

The fashion of the 19th century is renowned for its corsets, bonnets, top hats, bustles and petticoats. Women's fashion during the Victorian period was largely dominated by full skirts, which gradually moved to the back of the silhouette.

How do women dress like Victorians? ›

And tie for shoes wear lace-ups or butternut boots. And try to avoid ballet style pumps. One item of

What did the lower class women wear in the Victorian era? ›

Poor Victorian women wore thin dirty dresses which were dark colours and made from cotton or wool because silk and linen would be far too expensive and wouldn't last as long as they needed them to last for ages.

What colors did Victorian women wear? ›

"During the 1860-85 period generally colors were delicate, white, blue, gray, lilac, pink and pale brown; trimmings were often dark, such as black on soft pink and white, or bright blue on pale green-gray. Dresses of two colors and two textiles were typical.

What should I wear to Victorian dressing? ›

Sturdy boots should be worn, along with cloth or thread gloves—not kid. You may wear a hat or bonnet, but feathers and flowers should be left off. A cloak, duster, or heavy shawl is desirable, as well. Tending towards simplistic, practical styles, these dresses are made to be worn while visiting the country.

What did upper class Victorian women wear? ›

Upper-class women, who did not need to work, often wore a tightly laced corset over a bodice or chemisette, and paired them with a skirt adorned with numerous embroideries and trims; over layers of petticoats. Middle-class women exhibited similar dress styles; however, the decorations were not as extravagant.

How do you do Victorian hairstyles? ›

5 Easy Victorian Inspired Vintage Hairstyles | Tutorial | Kathryn Marie

Did Victorians wear makeup? ›

Obvious makeup was taboo in Victorian times

It was believed that cheeks painted with blush had to look flushed, and lips had to look bitten rather than painted. Eyebrows were lightly plucked and darkened with natural ingredients, and eyeliner all but disappeared in the Victorian era.

How do I get a Victorian look? ›

Choose clothing that gives the impression of Victorian era style.
  1. High-collard shirts or turtlenecks.
  2. Anything made of lace is appropriate. ...
  3. Long A-line skirts (fitted at the natural waist and flares out at the bottom), knee to floor-length.
  4. Peasant blouses, vests, or corseted tops.
  5. Fitted clothing, but not revealing.

How did Victorian women do their hair? ›

Most respectable women wore their hair in an intricately braided or twisted up do. Women would even add additional pieces of human hair, similar to modern day extensions, to give their hairstyle more volume and height. The most important aspect of Victorian hair was neatness.

Did Victorian women wear short dresses? ›

In the 1840s, extra flounces were added to skirts and women wore a short over-skirt in day dressing. Skirts widened as the hourglass silhouette became the popular look, and women took to wearing layers of petticoats. Bodices took on a V shape and the shoulder dropped more.

What did middle class Victorian women wear? ›

Women in the middle class usually wore dresses or gowns. The lower middle class wore simple dresses, and were plain. Usually, women would wear petticoats, corsets, or chemises under the gowns or dresses. During the 1860's skirts for women were flatten near the neck area and towards the back of the skirt.

Why were Victorian skirts so big? ›

Women were literally carrying around yards and yards of fabric everywhere they went. With the invention of the hoop skirt, ladies could still get the enormous bell shape to their skirts without all that extra fabric. Because they were so lightweight, hoop skirts got bigger and bigger.

What Colour clothes did Victorians wear? ›

Individual Images via Met Museum and MFA Boston. During the nineteenth century, red was considered a vibrant, powerful color, suitable for warm winter cloaks, richly patterned shawls, and dramatic evening dresses.

What makes a Victorian dress? ›

The typical Victorian dress shape was an elongated V-shaped bodice, and full skirts with the sides of bodices stopping at the natural waistline with sleeves that were tight at the top, but wider from the elbow to the wrist.

What were popular colors in the Victorian era? ›

What colour paint did the Victorians use? The traditional Victorian colour palette was dark and consisted of dark, rich and deep shades of maroon, red, burgundy, chestnut, dark green, brown and blues.

How much did Victorian dresses weigh? ›

Four dresses of medium size were weighed. Six pounds was the weight of a dress of velvet and cloth; a silk dress weighed three and a half pounds, a plush five and a quarter pounds, and a dress of ladies' cloth on a cloth skirt five pounds three ounces.

How do Victorians wear clothes? ›

Here are some simple ideas:
  1. Wear a vest over high-collared shirt.
  2. Put knee socks over jeans or pants to look like knickers.
  3. Attach feathers to a broad-brimmed hat and put on a pair of long, elbow length gloves.
  4. Shirt sleeves pushed up with elastic at the elbows.
  5. Tie a long scarf over a blouse, sweater, jacket etc.

What is a Victorian wrapper? ›

A wrapper was easy to put on and could be worn for house work and basic farm chores - it was essentially a house dress. They were often made of cotton, but could also be made of wool or silk. 1840's wrapper from The Met.

What is Victorian era jewelry? ›

Among the most popular were the following: agate, amber, amethyst, chalcedony, chrysoberyl, diamond, emerald, garnet, malachite, seed pearls, quartz, topaz, and turquoise. Other materials frequently found in Romantic Period jewelry include ivory, lava stone, and tortoiseshell.

What would a rich Victorian child wear? ›

Over these basic layers, he would wear a shirt that tied at the neck in front, a petticoat and a long white dress. Both boys and girls wore long dresses. The richer you were, the longer the skirt! As the baby got older, his hem would be shortened to encourage crawling.

What did working-class Victorian women wear? ›

In 1800 working-class people wore linen underwear, men wore woollen outer clothing, and women wore cotton, linen and woollen dresses.

What did working-class women wear? ›

Stays, corsets or jumps as they were variously known, were an important part of the wardrobe of women across the social classes. Jumps were the popular choice of working-class women in the early part of the century.

How do you do a messy Victorian bun? ›

An Everyday Victorian-Style Updo - YouTube

How did Victorians wear their hair to bed? ›

To get beautiful and luxuriant hair, Victorian and Edwardian ladies followed a night-time hair routine: After brushing out tangles and massaging the scalp with oil or hair tonic, they braided their long hair to protect it at night.

At what age did Victorian girls put their hair up? ›

Long hair was considered desirable but it had to be worn properly in public in order to be considered respectable. In the 1830's young girls were expected to wear their hair up when the reached the age of 15/16.

What did Victorian ladies do about periods? ›

The Victorian Period (And Beyond)

From the 1890s to the early 1980s, people used sanitary belts, which basically were reusable pads that attached to a belt worn around the waist – and yes, they were as uncomfortable as they sound.

What was the average weight of a woman in the 1800s? ›

In 1898 the newspaper reported that the average weight of a man was 140 pounds and a woman 123 pounds, with the average male height at about 5 feet 6.

Did Victorians dye their hair? ›

By the Victorian era, ladies were auburn-bitten and eager have this color for themselves, she says. When the supplies of false hair in the right shades had been exhausted, many began dying their own hair with natural plan-based or herbal dyes.

How do you become a Victorian woman? ›

How to be a 'Proper' Victorian lady: 10 ridiculous rules for women in the 1800's
  1. Keep the bling to a minimum. ...
  2. Wait for a man to make the first move. ...
  3. Pipe down. ...
  4. Don't be overly flamboyant. ...
  5. And keep your Mariah Carey impression to yourself. ...
  6. Avoid dirty jokes. ...
  7. Don't even attempt to read a novel. ...
  8. Don't talk about yourself.
1 Oct 2019

What does a Victorian style home look like? ›

The main structures were fairly simple, rectangular-shaped houses with low sloping or sometimes flat roofs that protrude quite far out from the exterior walls. The windows are tall and skinny, often rounded at the top, and there is trim, trim, and more trim.

Did Victorian women shave? ›

In the Victorian era, ladies with excess facial or body hair didn't have the luxury of making an appointment at their local salon. Instead, women employed various methods of hair removal at home. There was shaving and tweezing, of course, but there were also more dangerous methods.

Did Victorian women have bangs? ›

Women in the 1830s usually rocked a clean middle part with their hair tied back in a neat bun, braids, or twist. Occasionally they curled the sides, but bangs weren't in fashion. In the 1840s, women began sporting “barley curls”, long ringlets that were worn mainly by children before they came into style for adults.

Why did Victorian women not cut their hair? ›

In the Victorian era, the length of a woman's hair was a marker of her modesty, status, and affluence. Were it not for her wealth, maintaining long tresses would have been impractical, given the pestilence and poor sanitation of the time.

What did Victorian women wear for bras? ›

Victorian women wore a chemise, drawers, corset, corset cover, and many petticoats. 1920s women, on the contrary, often wore only two pieces of lingerie: a teddy and slip.

What shoes did Victorians wear? ›

The most popular type of footwear worn in the early Victorian era was undoubtedly the boot. Boots were not a new concept during the 19th century. In fact, humans have been wearing boots since as far back as 15,000 BC. As society progressed from the time of the early people, the boot came along for the ride.

What did Victorians wear under their skirts? ›

Rich women wore corsets under their dresses. At the beginning of Victoria's reign it was fashionable to wear a crinoline under a skirt. These hoops and petticoats made skirts very wide. Later in the period skirts were narrower with a shape at the back called a bustle.

Did Victorian women wear scarves? ›

Other common accessories of the turn of the century were shawls, cloaks, mantles, scarves, and small aprons. Gloves were also very popular, as was the parasol—women were constantly trying to protect themselves from the sun.

What did the poor Victorians wear? ›

Some people wore heavy boots with thick hob-nailed soles. Women wore caps and bonnets not just to be respectable but to keep hair from getting caught in machines and to fend off dirt and headlice. Children wore clothes handed down from older family members.

What did rich and poor Victorians wear? ›

Rich Victorians would have had lots of outfits and would have chosen material such as silk and satin for their finest clothes. Poor Victorians were not able to spend very much money on clothes. They had to choose practical and warm clothing and would not have had a selection of clothes to choose from.

What was the purpose of a bustle on a dress? ›

A bustle is a padded undergarment used to add fullness, or support the drapery, at the back of women's dresses in the mid-to-late 19th century. Bustles are worn under the skirt in the back, just below the waist, to keep the skirt from dragging.

What was considered scandalous in the Victorian era? ›

When you think about the Victorian era, you probably remember a whole host of ridiculously repressive social edicts such as the one about how women couldn't reveal their ankles without it being considered indecent exposure. True, if nothing else, showing an ankle in public was considered scandalous.

What do you wear under a hoop skirt? ›

Ball gowns (bell or A-line shaped) need hoop skirts and petticoats. A-lines need a petticoat (and sometimes a smaller, A-line hoop skirt). Mermaids and trumpets need slips sometimes. Small gowns need full-coverage underwear, and sometimes, for vintage looks, petticoats as well.

Did Victorian girls wear trousers? ›

Despite the popular belief, women did wear trousers in the 1800s. A search will find dozens of records of diarists who noted British and European members of the fairer sex in pants throughout Turkey, India, the American frontiers, Australia, &c.

What does green mean in the Victorian era? ›

Victorian Era Fashion loved the color green. It's the color of springtime and good health–even Christmas. As The Industrial Revolution progressed, cities became increasingly crowded and dark. Under gray clouds of pollution, the sparkle of nature's green on gowns or wallpaper offered a breath of fresh air.

Did Victorians wear socks? ›

Stockings and socks from the mid 1800s, made of linen, wool, and silk with cotton, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Socks seemed to be a less particular purchase. They were quite inexpensive when compared to other items in Kate Tattersall's ledger, most of wool, some cashmere.

What goes under a petticoat? ›

Over the Corset and Corset cover is the Under Petticoat, usually quite plain and worn as many as six at a time, depending on the season.

What did Victorians Wear facts? ›

Poor Victorians wore simple clothes that would last a long time. Clothes were often mended and passed down through families. Women wore dresses and shawls while men wore trousers, shirts and jackets. Women would wear a cap or bonnet and men wore a hat.

When did Victorian dresses stop? ›

The Victorian fashion era began with Queen Victoria's reign in 1837 and ended in 1901, upon her death.

Is grey a Victorian colour? ›

Grey was not part of the Victorian palette, but it's a hugely popular contemporary colour and looks fabulously smart on wood panelling or cupboard doors in a traditional space.

Is pink a Victorian color? ›

During the Victorian era, pink was considered a sweet, feminine color, suitable for the gowns of young ladies in their first season. It was also fashionable for more mature Victorian women, who often wore evening dresses made of fine pink satins and silks.

What colours did poor Victorians wear? ›

Poor Victorian women wore thin dirty dresses which were dark colours and made from cotton or wool because silk and linen would be far too expensive and wouldn't last as long as they needed them to last for ages.

Did Victorian ladies wear makeup? ›

Victorian women of means took to a more covert approach to cosmetics and did wear makeup, but only enough to remain undetected. Cold creams served as a base for rouge and powder, and some women darkened their lashes with hair pins either blackened by fire or dipped in some sort of kohl.

What fabric were Victorian dresses made of? ›

Throughout the period light colours were fairly general for evening wear and were considered more suitable for young ladies, as were cottons like muslin or taFlatan, but by the 1860s cotton had lost ground as a high-fashion fabric, and silk, satin, taffeta, faille, moiré, silk poplin from Ireland, and velvet for more ...

What did Victorians wear in summer? ›

In the summer, the Victorian lady would wear lighter-weight fabrics and colors. She would also carry a parasol to protect her skin from the sun. It's time to put an end to the myth that Victorian costumes are so hot that they're better suited to the summer than modern clothing.

How do you dress like a Victorian lady? ›

Dress Like a Victorian - Women's Outfits - YouTube

How do you do Victorian hairstyles? ›

5 Easy Victorian Inspired Vintage Hairstyles | Tutorial | Kathryn Marie

How do I start a dressing in Victorian? ›

Choose clothing that gives the impression of Victorian era style.
  1. High-collard shirts or turtlenecks.
  2. Anything made of lace is appropriate. ...
  3. Long A-line skirts (fitted at the natural waist and flares out at the bottom), knee to floor-length.
  4. Peasant blouses, vests, or corseted tops.
  5. Fitted clothing, but not revealing.

What did Victorians wear at home? ›

For the first few decades of the Victorian Era (1837-1901), at-home wear was generally a wrapper, kind of like a robe. This front button, full length garment was fitted with darts or drawstring waist, could have a fitted lining or not, and could be made for wearing over a corset… or not.

Did Victorians wear gingham? ›

Checked gingham became more common over time, though striped gingham was still available in the late Victorian period. The equivalent in the French language is the noun vichy, from the town of Vichy in France. The same word is used in Spain where this pattern is called "cuadro vichy" or "estampado vichy".

What is a visiting dress? ›

Visiting dress 1845–50

The style emphasizes the inactivity of women who were relegated to various forms of handwork and developing the art of conversation. The female silhouette of the middle of the 19th century consisted of a fitted corseted bodice and wide full skirts.

What is a Victorian ring? ›

ENGAGEMENT RINGS. 1837 to 1901. Victorian engagement rings from the 19th century are known for gorgeous buttery yellow gold, intricate metal work and time-worn patina. These antique treasures feature chunky hand cut diamonds and bright precious colored gems.

Did Victorians wear earrings? ›

For pierced ears, the traditional shepherd's hook, post stud and hoops were used. The Victorian period as a whole saw many different types of earrings, from long girandole chandelier pendants, to yellow gold archaeological revival filigree drops, coloured stone clusters and simple diamond studs.

What jewelry did Queen Victoria wear? ›

Her bridal jewelry consisted of an elaborate “Turkish” diamond necklace and matching earrings, the sapphireand diamond brooch from Albert and the Order of the Garter. Victoria's train bearers each received an eagle brooch paved in turquoise with a ruby eye and pearls in its claws designed by Albert.

What did wealthy Victorian ladies wear? ›

The fashion of the 19th century is renowned for its corsets, bonnets, top hats, bustles and petticoats. Women's fashion during the Victorian period was largely dominated by full skirts, which gradually moved to the back of the silhouette.

What age did girls start wearing a corset? ›

In the early 20th century, a young woman would typically have started wearing a corset at about 15 years old, and live at home until she married around age 18. After the war, more young women sought an education, and in the Western world, marriage was delayed until they reached their middle to late 20s.

What did teenage girls wear in the Victorian era? ›

Girls wore skirts and dresses, which increased in length as the girls got older. Older girls also wore corsets. Boys wore frocks, blouses, and tunics with pleated skirts at a younger age, and also wore knickerbockers and collarless jackets.

What did middle class Victorian women wear? ›

Women in the middle class usually wore dresses or gowns. The lower middle class wore simple dresses, and were plain. Usually, women would wear petticoats, corsets, or chemises under the gowns or dresses. During the 1860's skirts for women were flatten near the neck area and towards the back of the skirt.

How did Victorian women do their hair? ›

Most respectable women wore their hair in an intricately braided or twisted up do. Women would even add additional pieces of human hair, similar to modern day extensions, to give their hairstyle more volume and height. The most important aspect of Victorian hair was neatness.

How would you describe a Victorian dress? ›

The typical Victorian dress shape was an elongated V-shaped bodice, and full skirts with the sides of bodices stopping at the natural waistline with sleeves that were tight at the top, but wider from the elbow to the wrist.

Why did Victorians wear so many clothes? ›

The Victorians, too, wore *more* layers of clothing in the cooler, winter months for protection and warmth. They shed most of those layers when hot weather came.

What would a Victorian girl wear to school? ›

What did Victorian children wear to school? Girls would wear a knee-length woollen dress, usually in a dark colour. They also wore a white apron tied at the back to protect their dress, thick black stockings and black shoes or boots.

How would you describe a Victorian woman? ›

The ideal Victorian woman was pure, chaste, refined, and modest. This ideal was supported by etiquette and manners. The etiquette extended to the pretension of never acknowledging the use of undergarments (in fact, they were sometimes generically referred to as "unmentionables").

What did Victorians wear to bed? ›

Sleepwear during the Victorian age was usually referred to as 'night clothes' and often consisted of ankle-length nightshirts or nightgowns and floor-length robes. Almost everything was white, especially when the style was first adopted (eventually colors and patterns became fashionable).

How would you describe a Victorian dress? ›

The typical Victorian dress shape was an elongated V-shaped bodice, and full skirts with the sides of bodices stopping at the natural waistline with sleeves that were tight at the top, but wider from the elbow to the wrist.

How did Victorian girls wear their hair? ›

Most respectable women wore their hair in an intricately braided or twisted up do. Women would even add additional pieces of human hair, similar to modern day extensions, to give their hairstyle more volume and height. The most important aspect of Victorian hair was neatness.

What age did girls start wearing a corset? ›

In the early 20th century, a young woman would typically have started wearing a corset at about 15 years old, and live at home until she married around age 18. After the war, more young women sought an education, and in the Western world, marriage was delayed until they reached their middle to late 20s.

What would a rich Victorian child wear? ›

Over these basic layers, he would wear a shirt that tied at the neck in front, a petticoat and a long white dress. Both boys and girls wore long dresses. The richer you were, the longer the skirt! As the baby got older, his hem would be shortened to encourage crawling.

How did Victorian ladies greet each other? ›

According to Manners and Rules of Good Society, a lady was also expected to shake hands when introduced to “the relations of her intended husband” or “on being introduced to the friend of an intimate friend.” In addition, if she was conversing with a new acquaintance with whom she had “much in common,” proper etiquette ...

What's the difference between Edwardian and Victorian? ›

What is the difference between Edwardian and Victorian Eras? Victorian era is said to have continued from 1837 to 1901 and lasted the reign of Queen Victoria whereas Edwardian era started in 1901 with his ascension to the throne and lasted till 1910 till his death.

Did Victorians kiss before marriage? ›

Was there any kissing going on? In the Victorian era, abstaining from any physical show of affection when in public was regarded as the only way to be, really. Kissing in front of others was deemed vulgar and unacceptable, even for those with lower standing in the community.

Did people sleep naked in the past? ›

Most Medieval pictures show people sleeping in the nude, but there is evidence that by the 16th century, night shirts and night gowns were common. On cold nights heated stones could be put into the beds. Smooth brass pans called bedwarmers with hinged lids and long handles were used to heat the sheets.

What did Victorians smell like? ›

Most fragrances in early to mid-Victorian times were delicate and floral. They were understated, feminine – and often simply conjured up the scent of a particular flower, such as jasmine, lavender, roses, honeysuckle…

What was worn under a nightgown? ›

In those days, nightshirts were often made of ruined or very cheap fabric, however, most nightshirts are now made with normal cloth to fit the sleeping purpose.

Why were Victorian dresses so big? ›

Women were literally carrying around yards and yards of fabric everywhere they went. With the invention of the hoop skirt, ladies could still get the enormous bell shape to their skirts without all that extra fabric. Because they were so lightweight, hoop skirts got bigger and bigger.

How do Victorians wear clothes? ›

Here are some simple ideas:
  1. Wear a vest over high-collared shirt.
  2. Put knee socks over jeans or pants to look like knickers.
  3. Attach feathers to a broad-brimmed hat and put on a pair of long, elbow length gloves.
  4. Shirt sleeves pushed up with elastic at the elbows.
  5. Tie a long scarf over a blouse, sweater, jacket etc.

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