Victorian Era Fashions

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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Victorian Birthstones and Their Sentiments

Since early times there was a belief in the virtues of wearing precious stones. One person claimed that this idea of attaching a natal stone to a different month first started in Germany in the 1500s. Apparently, the fashion was popular with “the fair sex, seeing in it as an element of mystery.” These stones,…

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Hat Fashions for October 1897

The hat was considered one of the most important items of a woman’s toilette. One twentieth century writer noted its importance stating: “When a clever woman chooses a hat, she is careful that the shadows it casts on her face are becoming to her. Every hat throws it own set of shadows, and I doubt…

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Hat Fashions for September 1898

Fashionable hats for September 1898 were “variable and whimsical” They also included toques, carriage hats, and leghorns. One of the latest fashions for millinery in 1898 was the forward tilting hat with a drooped effect over the eyes. Trimmings at this time were often “elaborate, and the long spangled quill and spangled wing [vied] ……

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Lingerie for Summer 1898

“Love of dainty underwear is innate in womankind,” was the opinion of one nineteenth century fashion magazine known as The Delineator. Yet, the concept that lingerie and undergarments were visually appealing, did not become a thought until the late nineteenth century. At that time, some of the best lingerie came from France, but nineteen century…

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Hat Fashions for August 1898

Victorian women wore hats year round and summer hats of 1898 were “well-dressed in a wealth of blooms that, if reproduced by the florist, would ensure his fortune.” Roses, violets, poppies, and other brilliant colored flowers were popular for the season and often placed high in the back, graduating to nothing in the front. Transparent…

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Hat Fashions for October 1896

Towering crowns, either pointed, square, or well-concealed were once again “modish” in 1896, and as height was an essential for the fall season of 1896, crownless or low crown hats were made high with trimming. Brims remained broad and frequently “cast a shadow over the eyes.” Plumage was as important as ever and hats often…

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Hat Fashions for December 1896

In the winter of 1896, medium and high crowned hats prevailed with large hats being particularly in vogue. Flowers and foliage were seen on nearly all winter hats no matter what size and were also associated with fur. Birds and feathers were also another important millinery decoration at this time. The Delineator, a well-known fashion…

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Patchouli in the 1800s

Aromatic patchouli was “introduced in England as an article of merchandise, in 1844, but before that time the odour of the plant was known in Europe.”[1] The scent was peculiarly strong and persistent, and although disagreeable to some people, it was highly prized in Europe, and, in India, it was one of the most common…

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Crinolines in the 1800s

Crinolines replaced hoops, although when crinoline first appeared in the 1830s, it was nothing more than “stiff, unpliable stuff, adapted for making a dress stand out well from the figure.” By the 1850s, however, crinoline meant a stiffened petticoat or rigid shape designed to support and form a woman’s dress into a bell shape. It…

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