What were popular Victorian trends for home decor?

During the Victorian era, not only did fashion reflect the mood of the time, but it also signified social and economic status. Let’s take a closer look at some of the popular trends during this period:
  • Full skirts: Women during the Victorian period, particularly in the early years, wore full skirts that almost touched the ground. The skirts were made of heavy materials and adorned with lace, ribbons, and bows.
  • Corsets: Another defining feature of the Victorian era was the corset. Women would wear it tightly laced around the waist, creating a slim, hourglass figure.
  • Bonnets and top hats: Both men and women wore hats during this period. Women’s bonnets were delicately decorated with flowers, ribbons, and feathers, while top hats for men indicated high social status.
  • Bustles: Fashion for women eventually transitioned from full skirts to slimmer silhouettes, which introduced the use of bustles. These were padded undergarments that draped at the back of the skirt, creating a puffy appearance.
  • Petticoats: Petticoats were worn under dresses to create more volume and shape. They were made using several layers of fabric and had ruffles on the bottom for added flair.
  • Overall, fashion during the Victorian period was an essential status symbol and a way to showcase wealth and social class. The trends during this time were lavish and generally impractical, but they represented the desires and values of a rapidly changing society.
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    Victorian Women’s Fashion

    The Victorian era is defined by its fashion trends, which were focused on elegance, refinement, and proper attire. Women during this period were expected to dress appropriately, with strict guidelines regarding the length and style of their dresses. The fashion was centered around full skirts, which were progressively modified to incorporate a back part of the silhouette. Along with this, women wore corsets, bonnets, and gloves. Victorian dresses featured numerous different styles and cuts, including the princess cut, a-line, and bustle. The princess cut featured a closely fitted bodice that extended vertically to create a long, sleek silhouette. The a-line style silhouette was fitted at the bodice and flared outward, while the bustle style featured a majority of volume at the back of the dress.

    The Evolution of Victorian Silhouette

    Throughout the Victorian era, there were constant modifications to the silhouette of women’s fashion. The style originally focused on full skirts, but as the era progressed, the silhouette shifted towards a slimmer, more streamlined profile. The crinoline, which had previously been used to maintain the round shape of the skirt, made way for the bustle in the mid to late 1800s. The bustle was a separate device worn under the dress to create an artificial backside or enhance the woman’s natural curves. The bustle trend went through various phases, ranging from modest padding to exaggerated designs that extended several feet behind the wearer. The end of the Victorian era witnessed a return to the simpler, more practical styles of the directoire period as the corset and extreme bustles phased out.
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    The Role of Corsets in Victorian Style

    No discussion on Victorian fashion is complete without mentioning corsets. These undergarments were a crucial element of fashion for women during this era. Corsets acted as a supportive foundation garment while also creating a very narrow waistline. The use of corsets by women was seen as fashionable and respectable, as they were seen as enhancing the natural curves of women’s bodies. However, the tightness of the corset and the pressure it placed on internal organs necessarily led to some health drawbacks, such as fainting and difficulty breathing. Nevertheless, corsets remained fashionable throughout the Victorian era and continued in popularity into the early 20th century.

    Accessories in the Victorian Era

    Accessories were essential to the style in the Victorian Era. Women wore gloves, jewelry, and hats to complete their attire. Bonnets, in particular, were fashionable during the beginning of the Victorian era, with women of all ages wearing bonnets in public. Hats became fashionable towards the end of the era and could be seen in various designs, from ornate and extreme to simple with a single feather.

    Men’s Fashion in the Late 19th Century

    Men’s fashion during the Victorian era was equally as extravagant. The aristocracy were expected to wear elaborate suits and top hats and carry walking sticks. Bowler hats, started in 1850s England, become a popular choice of head-wear in the middle and working-class circles around the 1870s. Businessmen and professionals in the mid and late- 1800s typically wore more subdued clothing, including a frock coat, straight trousers, and a top hat.
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    The main material for dresses during the Victorian era was silk, although wool, cotton, and velvet were also used. Patterns commonly found on Victorian dresses included florals, stripes, and tartans. An important development in textile production became the mass-production of printed designs on cotton in the mid-1800s. Dresses from the Victorian era were generally quite elaborate, with intricate lace or embroidery. Women’s clothing also incorporated unique trims, such as ribbon and fringe, to add to the overall effect of the silhouette and the outfit. In conclusion, Victorian fashion was characterized by its elegant and refined appearance, with strict guidelines for attire. Women’s fashion focused on full skirts and elaborate designs, with frequent modifications to the silhouette throughout the era. Corsets were vital to the style and were used to create a narrow waistline. Men’s fashion also utilized elaborate suits and hats. Lastly, materials and patterns were carefully chosen to create intricate designs and trims. Overall, the Victorian era produced some of the most iconic and memorable fashion trends in history.

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