Women'a fashion in the Victorian era

Women's fashion in the Victorian era was known for its big skirts, tight corsets, and bonnets. Women in this time period wore many layers of dresses, blouses, skirts, coats, and they were prohibited to show as little as an ankle. Under these dresses the women wore corsets that limited their movement throughout the day. Wearing a skirt with increased width compared to other skirts became a popular symbol of wealth. The more design and work that was put into making these dresses mant they were more expensive, which were purchased by the high-class society. The middle class society generally never wore these high end dresses as much, so they would make their own new clothes. The poor society relid on second-hand clothing from the wealthy. On top of these very detailed and full dresses, hats and bonnets were a popular accessory during this time, women would wear their hair curled in a bun or top knot while the bonnet or hat was made to accomodate the hairstyle. Having decorated hats with birds or feathers was seen as a fashionable statement. As the Victorian era went on, skirts became more full in the back while corsets were not worn as often. These dresses were seen as a huge symbol of wealth in this time period and an important piece of fashion. 

Today, my father went into town today to recieve my new dresses from our tailer. I am very delighted to receive such beautiful clothing, as my mom says we should always look our best dressed. These dresses have been handmade by our tailor who does such fine workmanship for all of our clothing needs. I could never imagine what my life would be likfe making my own clothes for my own family. Mother always tells me that a woman should never have to go through the work of making her dresses, and that that is a man's job. Sometimes I pity the poor becasue they do not have such luxuries as we do. My mother allowed me to pick my favorite colors this time for my new dresses. I hope to wear the blue dress tonight at the dinner my father is hosting with his colleagues, I think the blue dress goes best with my eyes. Mother says I must wear my bonnet but it is quite uncomfortable on my head and is rather ugly. I had told my friend alexandra about my new dresses that have been made and she is so dleighted for me. I do hope tonight is wonderful and that everyone will love my dress. 

Works cited 

“Victorian Era Women's Fashion. Dresses, Clothing and Gowns.” Victorian Era, victorian-era.org/victorian-era-womens-fashion.html.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Online Museum. “Women's Clothes 1860s - 1890s.” Victorian Dress at the V&A, Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2RL. Telephone 44 (0)20 7942 2000. Email Vanda@Vam.ac.uk, 4 Apr. 2013, www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/v/victorian-dress-at-v-and-a/.

Victorian Era Women's Fashions: From Hoop Skirts to Bustles - Bellatory -  Fashion and Beauty

Associated Place(s)

Event date:

1837 to 1901

Parent Chronology: