Fashion is one thing that keeps on changing constantly. Trends observed on the cover of every fashion magazine today, are replaced by something else tomorrow! It is actually a cycle, a fashion that is dubbed as 'old' today, doesn't completely fade away, it returns again after some years. Fashion designers, fashion police, and fashion conscious people give a modern look to that 'old' fashion, and then that fashion again becomes a hit! Victorian fashion is one such style. This style was obviously first observed during the Victorian period, during the 19th century.
It refers to the trends of the British culture that existed during the reign of queen Victoria, commonly known as the Victorian era. This era lasted for almost two-thirds of the 19th century, which is why we see many different Victorian styles. Clothes were made by hand at the start of the era, however by the end of this age, they were made only by machines. This change is also seen in the fashion clothing of that time. Though the method of sewing the clothes changed, a few styles remained the same. Men of the Victorian age wore stiff ankle length or full length clothing whereas the women wore flowery, flowing gowns or dresses. The outfits changed according to the occasion, however the length remained the same. Women had to wear full length dresses, they were not even allowed to expose their ankles, it was regarded almost a crime. Ironically, bare shoulders or cleavage showing gowns were allowed.
When it came to fashion jewelry, like women of any era or age, Victorian women also loved jewelry! Art Nouveau and pearls were commonly used. One interesting fact is that mourning jewelry was the most popular kind of jewelry! It started with Queen Victoria itself, she wore jet jewelry after Prince Albert's death. Almost everything that was black in color would be used to make mourning jewelry, sometimes it also included the deceased person's hair!
Modern Victorian Fashion for Women
- Shirts/Blouses: Free-flowing skirts can obviously not be worn on an everyday basis now. So instead opt for Victorian style shirts. Choose blouses made of lace, velvet, or silk and remember, the more feminine the dress is, the more Victorian it is. Go for colors like pale yellow, light blue, black, royal blue, rose pink, ivory etc. You could get pearl-style buttons stitched to complete the look.
- Jackets: Jackets were very popular during the start of the era. To give a modern look to these old-fashioned jackets, choose wool or velvet. Blazers with a feminine cut will also do. In winter, you can opt for cashmere sweaters which have elegant buttons and delicate embroidery. Choose colors like green, deep purple, brown, etc.
- Jeans: You do not need to wear long gowns to be Victorian. You can even wear jeans to dress like one. For that, buy jeans that have delicate designs, pearls, lace, velvet trim, etc.
- Skirts: Skirts with hoops and laces should be worn. Velvet tier skirts also have a Victorian touch to them. Wear woolen stockings and black fishnets with your grand skirts.
Now that you know what kind of dress you should wear, let's see how to complete the look with the right accessories.
- Necklaces: Chokers are the first choice when it comes to Victorian style jewelry, you can opt for lace or velvet chokers. A single diamond pendant necklace or a locket can also be worn. To a party, wear only pearls!
- Earrings: Studs were more popular than earrings during this era. So buy rhinestone studs. However, if studs do not go well with your dress, go for chandelier earrings of the same color as that of the blouse.
- Bracelets and Rings: Silver or gold plated bracelets with rhinestone elegant pearls look great on a Victorian dress. Choose rings with big stones and a good shine to complete the look.
Try thigh-high boots or lace-up shoes in colors like brown or black. High heels also look good on any Victorian outfit.