Victorian era fashion facts

The outlook of the Twentieth Century Victorian seems to have been one of the most radical in its contours.

The Victorian era is generally recognized as the Golden Age of style and fashion, the era when the modern era really began in terms of the history of the clothing industry, and the impact of that era's style on contemporary culture can be seen in forms such as the Edwardian fashion, and more recently, post-modernism, aesthetics, and minimalism in fashion.

The Victorian Regime, which lasted from 1837 through 1901, was a strictly prudish period when prudery and the Victorian came to dominate fashion lines. This was a time when women who were not from the higher social classes, were not dressed in the offerings of the age.

The aim of the Victorian garments was to make the female form look appealing, and garments everywhere bear some aspects of the Victorian rule. Although the Gothic category embraced a far larger fraction of the audience than either the Victorians or the Elizabethans, the Gothic style bore a striking resemblance to the Victorian style; ruffles, layers, lacing up from the bodice, sleeves were frequently peak-less, and sleeves were narrow and fitted as was the length of the skirt.

Before the Edwardian era, women really did not have a say in choosing their fashions or in what they wore, and the few restrictions on formal feminine attire; after 1825 however, dress reform movements swept through Europe, challenging the ideas of tradition. In the 1830s especially, women wanted more complete clothing and made a greater effort to beset the old Victorian fashion of small waistlines and narrow shoulders.

With the utter failure of the Napoleonic wars, the Edwardians had no sizable military to push back against the stomping of the conservative tide, and women gained a measure of self-rule. By 1959 women were able to vote (rights permitting) and this soon tore the tiered superstitious nature of fashion down to size. For the first time in history it was considered acceptable for women to walk around in sporting trousers (generally matched with a short (literal) white blouse), and compete vociferously in sports, including tennis.

Why are these periods women leaning in an unbroken line to their male counterparts? Part of it was simply that this was the way things were. The Victorian era prized youth and beauty, with traditions like the art of the necklace creating a false glamor of sophistication attached only to the young eligible females of the community.

It's interesting that Victorian fashion should have its own solution, in the world of women's fashion perpetually pushing itself to encompass more and more elements of the past.

Strass beadwork, silver filigree, diamond-studded glass buttons, sequins, and twin-faced hats became increasingly extravagant, until dress dancing, with its muscular, sensual synchronized movements became the showcase for these once frivolous fashions, in which women danced in their blouses to the beat of pulsating constraints, danced the night away in their petticoats, and in the pubs watched men forth their wardrobes, sharp gentlemen parrying off promises of profitable adventures.

What happened? Why did a once modest, prudish society become so vain? Why did it go from being this time deemed proper to the preference of ladies to keep their legs closed whilst they sing and read letters from their brothers in the night? Was it really all that much more sublime, so tender and full of meaning? Could it really be sophisticated? The past was not an accurate indication of the style that would succeed. Despite the seven decades of sweeping, trousers and skirts are not commonly worn by today's women. Perhaps society preferred to wait until it had a reason to be modest.