Vintage Glamour: A Glimpse into 1860s Victorian Girls' Fashion


The 1860s were part of the broader Victorian era, spanning from 1837 to 1901. This period was characterized by strict adherence to social conventions and a deep appreciation for humility and decency.

Victorian fashion was no exception, with each decade bringing its own distinct trends and nuances.

The fashion of these decades in European and European-influenced countries is characterized by women's fashion with excessively full skirts relying on crinolines and hoops and the emergence of "alternative fashion" under the influence of the artistic dress movement.

Additionally, the popularity of the newly invented sewing machine made possible the expansion of women's wardrobe.

Aniline dyes (made from coal tar) were new and produced brighter colors than natural dyes (made from plants) and did not fade so quickly.

Bright colors and intricate designs that appear bold and wild to our modern tastes were popular. The skirts were wide, making the waist look smaller.

Corsets contributed to this effect by establishing trim lines over which a close-fitting bodice could easily sit. Women wore more layers under their dresses than in earlier times.

By the early 1860s, the skirt had reached its final width. After about 1862 the form of the crinoline changed and instead of being bell-shaped it became flatter at the front and more flared at the back.

This large area was richly decorated with all kinds of decorations. Puffs and strips can cover most of the skirt. There could be so many flounces that the material of the skirt itself was barely visible.

Lace became popular again and was used throughout the dress. Silver or gold embroidery can also be done on any part of the dress.

Day dresses consist of wide pagoda sleeves worn over undersleeves or engantes. High necklines with lace or tatted collars or chemisettes completed daytime looks.

Gowns had low necklines and short sleeves, and were worn with short gloves or lace or crocheted fingerless mitts. Voluminous skirts were supported by hoops, petticoats and or crinolines.

As skirts became narrower and flatter in the front, more emphasis was placed on the waist and hips. So corsets were used to help mold the body into the desired shape.

This was achieved by making corsets longer than before and making them from different sized pieces of fabric.

To increase stiffness, they were reinforced with several strips of whalebone, string or pieces of leather.

As well as making corsets tighter, this heavier structure helped prevent them from riding up or wrinkling at the waist.

The hair was parted down the middle and smoothed, waved, or folded over the ears, then braided or "put up" and pinned into a roll or low bun at the back of the neck Was.

Such styling was usually maintained by the use of hair oil and pomade. Styled hair was often restricted to decorative hairnets, especially by young women.

1 comment:

  1. How did they ever reproduce back then? All of them look sterile and stoic. Ugghh.


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