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Victorian Era Women's Fashions
Transcript of Victorian Era Women's Fashions
Gowns were made from various fabrics based on class and occasion. Velvet, satin, and silk were typically worn by older women. Younger women usually wore lighter, thinner materials. Women of the middle class often recycled their fabrics for their children. Less wealthy families wore fabrics like linen and cotton, while richer women also wore satin and silk. Popular fabrics were cotton, silk, wool, and crepe.
Women's fashions in the Victorian Era were very different from fashions today. Women's clothes varied with class and occasion. Shoes matched the dresses, and hats were always worn.
Many different shoes were worn by women for different occasions. Women didn't like to show off their feet, and it was considered improper to do so. Boots were laced up the front and were sewn to show off a woman's calves. Shoes were extravagant and beaded with pearls and feathers, matching the dresses and painted with bright colors. Boots were worn while working because of their sturdy leather. Clogs or dress slippers were worn on special occasions and big events.
Woman's fashions posed health risks to a woman's life. Corsets were tight-fitting laced pieces of clothing designed to shrink a woman's waist. These squeezed a woman's internal organs. Clothes restricted arm movement with tight-stitched sleeves. Layers were also a problem. Some women fainted under the thick wool petticoats, particularly in summer.
Gown structures varied by occasions. Sleeves were made with huge, padded shoulders that showcased a Victorian woman's class and poise. Party gowns were large-skirted with various sleeves and low neck lines.
Women had gowns for every occasion, outdoor ones in particular. These gowns were typically made of cashmere, taffetta, and camlet. Popular patterns were in red, with stripes, or prints of solid colors.
Bathing was a daily part of women's lives and required specific attire. Frowned upon was the showing of skin in public, so women took extreme measures to avoid this. Women sewed weights to the bottom of their dresses so the hem didn't float in the water. Some women even went to the extent of buying bathing machines, structures that looked like sheds on wheels.
Extravagant hats were worn by women who never left the house without one. Hats were adorned with ribbons, veils, and sometimes even birds! Birds were very popular on hats, the most worn being the Brazilian Black Bird with thick, shiny feathers.
Gowns and Classes
Women also dressed according to class and wealth. Wealthy women wore the latest styles, throwing out old clothes that had barely been worn. Upper class women wore intricate-stitched dresses and rich fabrics. Wealthy gowns were beaded and sewn with ruffles, bows, fake flowers, and embroidery. Beaded, low necklines and bouncy bands of pleats were restricted to middle and upper classes. Lower class women wore dresses of cotton and linen and re-wore them as many times as they could afford.
Women's fashions in the Victorian Era were very different from dresses in the modern world today. Extravagance was essential to a women's wardrobe. Fabrics were needed of the finest around. Shoes were masterpieces, works of art woman couldn't live without. Health risks were neglected with the price of beauty. Gowns were flouncy and immensely large and bulky. Hats were intricate and required for social status. Vanity ruled a woman's mind in Victorian England.
Corsets squeezed a women's insides.
Wealthy Women's Gowns