Women’s Fashion in Victorian Britain – Part II
The fashion of the Victorian Britain includes the silhouette of the “hourglass”. Lush, complex sleeves, thin, “spring” waist and a huge, long skirt resembling a bell. Such an intricate design was even difficult to call a dress. It was even more difficult to provide proper care for such a look. And it was very difficult to move in it, not to mention the fact that this style did not portray every woman. But the ladies, together with the craftsmen and tailors found a way. The life of the dress (which, given the complexity of its construction, was not cheap at all) was extended due to the high quality of the fabric and the restrained non-restrained colors. And that the overall look did not turn out to be too dull, women of the day adorned them with snow-white collars and cuffs, skillfully supplementing with ornaments.
In the first part, we talked only about parts of the dresses, that were mandatory for a distinguished lady’s wardrobe. The most luxurious dresses we saved, of course, for dessert:
Evening dress – a ceremonial look for official events, such as a dinner party, a large reception, a visit to the theater and opera. Evening dresses always had a deep neckline and short sleeves – this openness distinguished this outfit from any other. The dress was sewn according to the fashion rules of the season, using expensive materials and was richly decorated. Obligatory accessories were gloves, jewelry and a top cape if necessary.
Ball gown is the most solemn dress in the women’s wardrobe. Overall, the ball gown was similar to the evening gown, but was distinguished by an even richer finish.
Court dress – a dress in accordance with the rules of the royal court. During the XIXth century, the main feature of this look was a long train, which by the 1870s went into evening fashion.
A dress for traveling in the carriage (Carriage dress) or a dress for traveling – these dresses were practical and comfortable in comparison to all other looks. This version of the dress allowed the woman to sit comfortably in the carriage and out without getting dirty during travel. The colors of the carriage dress were restrained and the fabrics were soft. Carriage dresses were shorter than usual for all the same reasons. To many carriage dresses had attached capes, pelerines or coats.
Amazonia is a dress for riding, usually dark in color with a wide skirt, a hat in the form of a masculine cylinder or a pot with a veil. Mandatory components were gloves and a neck scarf.
The wardrobe was not limited to these items; Dresses were supposed to be changed at least several times a day and, of course, several dresses were required for the weekend and evening, so as not to repeat.