Fashion in Nineteenth-Century Literature The following entry discusses the representation of fashion in nineteenth-century art and literature. The study of the depiction of fashion in literature has proven to be a valuable tool in deducing and evaluating societal constructions of gender and class.
Clothing styles were dictated by propriety, and stylish garments were a sign of respectability. The copious amounts of fabric used in the creation of Victorian skirts usually meant that most women owned few outfits.
Detachable collars and cuffs enabled a woman to change the look of a garment for a bit of variety. Of course, wealthier women owned more garments made of finer fabrics using more material and embellishments. In those days, women lived at the largess of men - first their fathers or guardians, then their husbands.
Employment opportunities were limited to teaching young girls, being a governess, domestic servitude, and later to factory or mill work.
Of course, rural women had plenty of work if they lived on a farm. Some women earned money from cottage industries but the the Industrial Revolution put an end to enterprises such as weaving cloth and making lace at home. The Industrial Revolution created new wealth for investors, industrialists, and merchants and introduced a new middle class who, proud of their status, displayed their wealth with great ostentation.
Women wore their status in fabric and lots of it from the mid century hoop skirts to the later bustle in the beautiful dresses and styles of the Victorian period. The Industrial Revolution created a new urbanization as towns and cities filled with workers for the new mills and factories where women worked long hours in grim, dirty, and often dangerous conditions.
Large Gignot sleeves suddenly slimmed and a seam line dropped the shoulder of dresses. A tight fitting bodice was boned and slanted to emphasize the waist. Cartridge pleats at the waist created volume in the skirt without adding bulk to the waist.
Women of a higher social class were expected to be demure and indolent as reflected by the restrictive dropped shoulder lines and corsets. Dresses in soft colors could be refreshed with detachable white collars and cuffs. In the s, extra flounces were added to skirts and women wore a short over-skirt in day dressing.
Skirts widened as the hourglass silhouette became the popular look, and women took to wearing layers of petticoats. Bodices took on a V shape and the shoulder dropped more.
Evening wear exposed the shoulders and neckline and corsets lost their shoulder straps. Sleeves of ball gowns were usually short. Although women wore what we call dresses, many of these costumes were actually a separate bodice and skirt.
Three quarter length sleeves lasted through most of the Victorian period and some sleeves began to sprout bell shaped ruffles. For most of the 19th century, bonnets were the headgear of choice, in styles that varied from plain to heavily ornamented.
In the s, ringlets of curls hung on either side of the head. In the s, women drew up the side hair but let it hang in long, loose curls in back. Crimping became popular in the early s. Throughout the Victorian period, women wore false hair pieces and extensions as well as artificial flowers such as velvet pansies and roses, false leaves, and beaded butterflies often combined into intricate and beautiful headpieces.
Make up was mostly worn by theater people. The look for women in Victorian days was very pale skin occasionally highlighted with a smidge of rouge on the cheeks.
The Victorian Corset A corset is an undergarment set with strips of whalebone actually whale baleenlater replaced by steel. Though criticized as unhealthy, and certainly uncomfortable, corsets were a fashion staple throughout the 19th century granting women social status, respectability, and the idealized figure of youth.
Critics, including some health professionals, believed that corsets caused cancer, anemia, birth defects, miscarriages, and damage to internal organs. The tight restriction of the body did deplete lung capacity and caused fainting. The popular concept of an obsession with a tiny waist is probably exaggerated.
Late Victorian corset Source Ruffled skirts in Source Mid-Victorian Crinolines and Hoop Skirts In the s, the dome shaped skirt switched to tapered skirts that flared at the waist.Jan 05, · Dolores Monet, I have a project for u.s history and I need to know why the Victorian era fashion is historically significant.
Dolores Monet. 9 months ago from East Coast, United States. Hi Costume - one of my favorite aspects of historic costume is how styles relate to society, economy, etc. Glad you enjoyed! I appreciate your tranceformingnlp.coms: The following entry discusses the representation of fashion in nineteenth-century art and literature.
The study of the depiction of fashion in literature has proven to be a valuable tool in. Jan 05, · The Victorian period, generally the time between and the s, is named after Britain's Queen Victoria ( - ), a long lived and highly influential monarch in an era when women had little power or tranceformingnlp.coms: Victorian fashion comprises the various fashions and trends in British culture that emerged and developed in the United Kingdom and the British Empire throughout the Victorian era, roughly from the s through the first decade of the s.
The period saw many changes in fashion, including changes in styles, fashion technology and the methods. In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June until her death on 22 January The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of France and continental Europe.
In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this. The term "Victorian fashion" refers to fashion in clothing in the Victorian era, or the reign of Queen Victoria (). Methods of clothing production and distribution varied enormously over the course of Victoria's long reign.