take back the past: victorian era

As a lover of fashion and history, I decided to start a new series about looking to the past for fashion inspiration.  See the first post here.  

Today it's the Victorian Era (1837-1901).  I never really thought about it until now, but Victorian-inspired fashion is EVERYWHERE.  It's such an accessible "look" that you can embody any day, even if it's just through a lacy top, cameo necklace, jeans, and lace up boots.

The Victorian era lasted under Queen Victoria's rule.  The fashions went through the following trends:
  • 1840's/50's - Full skirts supported by petticoats made of horse hair, off the shoulder bodices, skirts full of flounces (frills), 
  • 1850's/60's -Hoop skirts (eek!), jacket bodices,  gored skirts.  Less flounces during Civil War due to decline in fabrics.
  • 1870's - Hoop skirts replaced by the "bustle" (more fullness in the back), bell shaped sleeves for daytime, small decorated sleeves for evening, polonaise (bodice and overskirt in one piece) bodices.
  • 1870's/80's - Bustles were abandoned for a more natural silhouette, more conservative necklines, slim skirts, asymmetrical details.
  • 1880's - The bustle is back-this time with the slim skirt front, draping became more complicated, high necklines.
Accessories:  Bonnets, cameos, fans, heeled boots.

Sources: Truly Victorian
Pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (my favorite!)

I'm really enjoying this series... I hope it interests someone other than myself.  Either way--It's been a fun way to learn more about fashion history.  Next up, the Edwardian era!  I just started watching Downton Abbey, so that should be exciting.


Bookish.Spazz said...

Gah. I love the Victorian Era! So beautiful!

alex said...

I've always loved the Victorian Era style! However, I cannot help but think that those dresses were quite uncomfortable to wear!