How To Dress Modern Victorian Style
The Victorian era, named after England’s Queen Victoria who ruled from 1837 to 1901, dramatically changed the trajectory of style as women became the focal point of fashion instead of men. Gender and class roles during her reign dictated that women of a certain status display the wealth of their husband to the general public, as men took a backseat in the fashion realm. This period was not important solely for fashion, however, as all forms of art from literature, visual arts, architecture, and more were impacted. By the end of this era, the manufacturing of clothes moved from custom sewing and individual sales to factory manufacturing and fixed store prices.
Traditional Victorian Elements
- Bertha neckline: Featuring a low-cut neckline that exposed the shoulders
- Corsets: Undergarment used to emphasize a woman’s small waist
- Engageantes: Tightly fitted sleeves made of linen or lace worn under the sleeves
- Chemise: A smock worn under shirts to protect from swear and oils
- Petticoat: a separate underskirt worn under a dress
- Overskirt: also known as a peplum, it is a short skirt lain over another garment
- Bustle: inner framework worn under a woman’s dress to increase its fullness
- Bonnet: popular headgear worn by women that allowed a woman only to be viewed from the front
- Hoop Skirt: undergarment worn to hold skirt in a stylized fashion
Modern Victorian Fashion Trend
To say that the Victorian era had a significant impact on worldwide fashion is an understatement, with today’s designers still returning to the period to inspire current clothes that are worn by a new generation of fashion forward individuals. Billowy sleeves, ruffled blouses, and just the right amount of velvet, lace, and chiffon have been featured in the collections of several prominent designers, including Chanel, Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, and many more.
Re-branded as ‘Neo-Victorian’ attire, the revamped look has been embraced on concrete jungles worldwide, featuring dresses slit to maximum effect, intricate lace, and crushed velvet that has been well-received on red carpets everywhere, a sign that the Victorian era was ahead of its time and an important entry in the history of fashion.
Modern Victorian Shopping Ideas
The Victorian aesthetic has never completely gone away and over the years it has even become more popular globally as major fashion houses continue to produce apparel that features characteristics for which the era is highly regarded. One of the best aspects of Victorian clothing is that it complements nearly any physique, allowing anyone to look luxurious, chic, and regal.
From brocades to luxe jackets, ruffled bibs to satin silhouettes and beyond, Victorian-inspired style automatically exudes distinction and with the right accessories, it is possible to look edgy and modern simultaneously. No era style-wise lends itself to a more dramatic look, with the Victorian aesthetic serving up just the right touch of drama to any outfit. Women searching for a great look that is timeless can turn to the Victorian era for the best in sartorial inspiration.