Victorian Era Fashions

Victorian French Lingerie

The concept that lingerie and undergarments were visually appealing, did not become a thought until the late nineteenth century during the Victorian Era. At that time, some of the best lingerie that could be purchased came from France. In fact, it was common for nineteenth century English and American visitors to travel to France to…

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Victorian Fad of False or Artificial Calves

Victorians embraced many unusual fads. For instance, besides adopting the famous stooping fashion of the Grecian Bend, some Victorian women adopted Alexandra of Denmark’s limp and were even willing to wear mismatched shoes to achieve it. Men likewise adopted a strange fashion. It was an S-shaped posture known as the Roman Fall. But there was…

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Paddling a Lady’s Grecian Bend

In August of 1875, a police report was filed in Northern England, in Sunderland, against a young married man named Thomas B. Cowan. Cowan was charged with assaulting Caroline Watson of Wayman Street in Monkwearmouth. The police reported that the event started at the house of Watson’s sister, a married woman named Mrs. Field, but…

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Millinery Fashions for 1881

Millinery fashions for 1881 were based on varying materials and styles depending on the season. For instance, straw was the popular springtime material for hats, and, in general, hats were large, whereas bonnets were small and worn close to the head. This close-fitting bonnet shape was still in vogue when summer started, and hats for…

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Women’s Dress Fashions for March 1881

Great attention was devoted to sleeves in 1881, and fashion dictated that they needed to change from the tight plain top. This did not mean, however, that the old sleeve styles were no longer fashionable. They were fashionable but they appeared a little larger and a little fuller at the top. Examples of some of…

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Spring Bonnets 1878

The most popular spring bonnets in 1878 were the “French chip, soft English straws, and … rough fancy braids with a piping of velvet between the rows of braid.” They were popular because they were supposedly of exceptional quality and much more durable than bonnets of former seasons. White and black bonnets were equally fashionable,…

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Women’s Dress Fashions for August 1881

Important changes in fashion were seen in August of 1881. First, one of the most important changes was women’s taste in semi-masculine attire. The desire for it had apparently died out. According to one writer, “No lady now thinks dressing, even for the country, in such a style that she might be mistaken for her…

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Parasol Fashions in the 19th Century

Parasols are different from umbrellas in that umbrellas protect a person from the rain and parasols shade a person from the sun. Before sunscreen was invented, the parasol was the primary way a woman maintained her creamy, spot-free complexion. Parasols were used everywhere and at all times: Women carried them when riding in an open…

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Women’s Dress Fashions for October 1881

New fashions for 1881 were paying tribute to older fashions. For instance, the fuller back in skirt fashions was said to be “presaging a return to the old crinoline, but the progress…towards that once favorite style, is a slow one, and it is more probably the English ladies, with their usual good taste, will rest…

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Women’s Dress Fashions for April 1881

France was prosperous by 1881, and it was shown in the well-dressed people strolling the boulevards and by the fact women no longer worn the somber colors that had prevailed for so long. Besides the change in color, there were other changes. Hoods had been replaced by deep collars that were pointed at the back,…

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