Women's Fashion was Very Trendy During the 19th Century Victorian Era
Victorian fashions are comprised of the various fashion and trends in British culture that emerged and were produced throughout the reign of Queen Victoria, otherwise known as the Victorian era. Her reign and this era were from June 1837 to January 1901. Covering nearly two thirds of the 19th century, there would be many changes in fashion during these 63 years of the 19th century. Other than fashion, these changes were also noted in architecture, literature, and the decorative or visual arts.
This website primarily covers fashion changes in women's clothing for the 1880's to 1900s, although there is information included for other decades during the Victorian era.
The intro photo of a woman in a corset and illustrations in this website are from mail order catalogs in the 1800's and all of these images are in the author's personal collection. Any images 1923 or prior are in the Public Domain.
This is Why I Love Old Catalogs!
I grew up in a time where there were plenty of catalogs lying around the house. Mostly, Sears and JC Penney were the common ones but we had a few others. These were a great source of entertainment for the whole family. Little boys could see the new toys, little girls could dream of their ideal wedding dress, Dad could find that favorite tool and Mom could either dream about upgrading her appliances or trying a new fashion. Our neighbor, believe it or not, still had an outhouse and you could always find a catalog laying in there. In later years, people read the catalogs just like we have reading material in bathrooms today. In the older days, there was no toilet paper and the pages were ripped out as needed. These old catalog depictions in this site, depict times when none of us were around. You can browse through these photos wondering how you would look in these clothes or imagine how uncomfortable the people that actually wore them were! I hope you enjoy this and leave me TONS of comments.
Thank you for visiting.
A Huge Compilation of more Victorian Fashions
Victorian Women's Dresses and Blouses
Benjamin Franklin - The Father of Mail Order
Benjamin Franklin has been attributed to many inventions and things that we use daily but did you know that he actually invented "mail order?"
Franklin invented the first catalog, which sold educational and scientific books. With his books, he also developed the first guarantee known to mail order. He said that the purchaser would be guaranteed a product by mail, that would be as good as if Franklin were there to give it to you himself!
It wasn't until over 100 years later that others, such as Aaron Montgomery ward developed the catalogues that we see today.
With his invention, Franklin can be credited with the hundreds of $billions that are purchased today using catalogues and mail order through online merchants. More importantly, his meager mail order catalog has resulted in a growth today, of almost 11 million jobs that are related to advertising for mail order business.
Victorian Women's Nightgowns
Victorian Women's Aprons
You Don't Need to be on the Gold Standard to Buy from Amazon
Check out Amazon's fantastic Victorian era items!
Victorian Women's Coats
Victorian Women's Hosiery and Stockings
Victorian Women's Lingerie
Victorian Corsets and Foundations
Victorian Trouseau and Bridal Sets
Victorian Beauty Aids
Victorian Women's Hats
Victorian Women's Bathing Suits
Victorian Women's Wigs and Hair Pieces
Victorian Women's Shoes
Dewey's Invisible Dress Elevator
Do You Like Victorian Fashions or Did You Like This Website?
Meganhere on October 10, 2013:
Interesting lens. Glad I wasn't a woman back then.
Teri Villars (author) from Phoenix, Arizona on March 21, 2013:
@Aunt-Mollie: That is a good point...and you know that they had issues with body odor, especially with all those clothes. I see those old westerns and think that they don't have to look for him coming, they can smell him. ha! Thanks for the visit.
Aunt-Mollie on March 20, 2013:
I love this dresses. But, I never understood how they took care of clothing like this without dry cleaning!
Teri Villars (author) from Phoenix, Arizona on January 15, 2013:
@Board-Game-Brooke: Thank you for visiting!
C A Chancellor from US/TN on January 13, 2013:
I love the Victorian look, shoes especially.
Art Inspired on October 22, 2012:
Wonderful write up about Victorian fashions.
AstroGremlin on October 08, 2012:
I really like the prices! The bustle looks like a great storage device. Oh, for the Victorian times.
Teri Villars (author) from Phoenix, Arizona on September 16, 2012:
@Ardyn25: Thank you for the visits. I like them very much also!
Ardyn25 on September 16, 2012:
I'm so glad I wondered over, I love old catalogs and the Victorian Fashions.
AJ from Australia on July 24, 2012:
I have been here so many times before and am still drawn to visit again. This time I can leave blessings, which are truly due.
Teri Villars (author) from Phoenix, Arizona on July 20, 2012:
@Diva2Mom: I want to live in the 50's,. although I don't see myself reading the paper in my suit and tie like Ward Cleaver. ha!
Diva2Mom on July 20, 2012:
I love, love this lens ! I am also fascinated with the great sophistication and elegance of the Victorian Fashion. It's so classic, and there's something unique about it when it comes to making women stand out in the sense of Femininity and grace, which I truly like and appreciate so much. I would love to go back to this generation and be able to experience the pleasure of wearing these Victorian Fashions and feminine clothing and accessories. SO BEAUTIFUL, and REAL CLASSY. Fabulous lens! God bless.
Teri Villars (author) from Phoenix, Arizona on July 14, 2012:
@georgeac lm: Thank you for the compliment and visit!
georgeac lm on July 14, 2012:
Well well written lens, great work.
Teri Villars (author) from Phoenix, Arizona on July 12, 2012:
@Hypersapien2: I love looking at old images like these! Thanks for the visit!
Hypersapien2 from U.S. on July 12, 2012:
The fashions during that period look very interesting.
Teri Villars (author) from Phoenix, Arizona on July 02, 2012:
@esvoytko lm: Thanks for the visit!
esvoytko lm on July 02, 2012:
These images are great!
leonasharon on June 29, 2012:
yes loved it.Thanks for sharing your knowledge
Teri Villars (author) from Phoenix, Arizona on June 27, 2012:
@anonymous: I love old catalogs and the prices in them. It is interesting to see what things were worth then...but also, the pay was much less in contrast.
anonymous on June 26, 2012:
Wonderful Victorian fashions. Hard to believe the prices of the items you have depicted here.
Teri Villars (author) from Phoenix, Arizona on June 21, 2012:
@anilsaini: Thanks for the visit!
anilsaini on June 21, 2012:
wow!!! you have done a good research...thanks for providing here
McBub-Squidoo on June 13, 2012:
Thanks for let me know Benjamin Franklin is the father of mail order.
anonymous on June 08, 2012:
I love the Victorian Trouseau and Bridal Sets!
Wedding Mom on May 23, 2012:
Great lens. Victorian fashion is so classy.
Demaw on May 07, 2012:
I like looking at the fashions but would find them very restrictive to wear.
Laraine Sims from Lake Country, B.C. on May 04, 2012:
I think that I was born in the wrong era. I love Victorian fashions: the dresses, lace, lace, and more lace and the hats!! beautiful!! Except for the bustle .. I never did think that was a great design. This gets an angel blessing and wish I could give it more. Ah-ha just maybe ... it will be a surprise.
AJ from Australia on April 27, 2012:
I love Victorian fashions and love this website. I have been here before, but had to sneak another look at the exquisite detail. I especially marvel at the attention that went into undergarments and sleepwear - just devine. Blessings.
KarenCookieJar on April 24, 2012:
I really love old fashioned clothing, neat images and information!
MelonyVaughan on April 24, 2012:
Well-researched and beautifully-presented lens!
WhiteOak50 on April 21, 2012:
I was letting you know that I have featured this page on my: The Victorian Era lens. This is a beautifully done page so of course I had to drop off a sprinkle of "Victorian Angel Dust".
Laura Brown from Ontario, Canada on April 17, 2012:
My friend who runs http://www.aslipofagirl.net/ will enjoy this post. You would likely enjoy her site too. She loves vintage lingerie.
WriterJanis2 on April 17, 2012:
Gorgeous examples. Adding more fairy dust. :-)
anonymous on April 16, 2012:
I felt like a Victorian lady dreaming of these wonderful fashions for myself and am glad that some pages did survive the outhouse! A delightful presentations of things that dreams were made of, adding a bit more dust here!...*
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on March 25, 2012:
How very different are the fashions of yesteryear. Victorian are indeed unique fashions compared with those of today. I definitely would not need the bustle lol.
Rose Jones on March 21, 2012:
Oh and I forgot - sprinkled with angel dust for the high quality!
Rose Jones on March 21, 2012:
Really, really great lens. I love the Victorian times, one of my dreams is to spend Christmas in London, enjoying the Dickens Faires there. I learned a lot from this lens. BTW, Thanks for mentioning that the photos are public domain, - I think sometimes lensmasters use photos they should not (innocently usually) and it is good to get a little instruction about it.
MrsPotts on March 17, 2012:
This was a really interesting read! I love the old catalog pictures and didn't know the bustle helped support heavy fabrics. I always thought it was just a bad fashion idea. Thank you for creating a fun lens. :-)
im1337mi on March 10, 2012:
Super cool, thanks for sharing.
Lauriej1 on March 05, 2012:
Great lens! I wish we could get away with some of these fashions today! :)
miaponzo on February 23, 2012:
What a wonderful lens!!!! Blessed!
AJ from Australia on February 12, 2012:
Just gorgeous. What wonderful information.
anonymous on February 05, 2012:
Treasures By Brenda from Canada on January 18, 2012:
It's always interesting to learn about what people used to wear.
JoshK47 on January 16, 2012:
Wonderful page - thanks for sharing!
irenemaria from Sweden on January 14, 2012:
Poor girls. I wonder if they could breathe? but the pictures are awesome and the lens very very nice.
Helene-Malmsio on January 07, 2012:
I'll never complain about my clothes being uncomfortable again!
Cynthia Davis from Pittsburgh on December 20, 2011:
I didn't like this lens, I loved it! Beautifully done. Angel Blessings**
CruiseReady from East Central Florida on December 19, 2011:
I can't help but wonder how uncomfortable sitting while wearing a bustle must have been.
KonaGirl from New York on December 12, 2011:
I love everything Victorian and these catalog pages from the time are wonderful. *Squid Angel Blessed* and I've added your link to My Squid Angel Wings to be featured in the "Fashion & Beauty Â» Retro Fashions " neighborhood. In fact you are the first in this category. Well done.
jimmyworldstar on December 11, 2011:
Wow everything back then was very elaborate and complex. They didn't even have separate underwear! I could imagine it taking a long time just to get dressed and undressed. And it must've been awful on hot summer days. Is there anything about Victorian fashion for men?
flycatcherrr on December 06, 2011:
Ha, fun lens! We can all feel pretty lucky today to sit around in stretch fleece and jeans, I guess.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 21, 2011:
This is a wonderful trip to the fashion world of the Victorian women. What a well put together lens. Blessed.
sheriangell on October 11, 2011:
I really loved looking at all of the Victorian goodies you have featured here. I think it's kind of funny that the 17" waist is a bit of a myth while most corsets were between 18" - 30"....like 18" would be so much more comfortable than 17"! That bridal gown towards the top of the lens is lovely. Blessed by a Squid Angel today.
Lindas11 on September 07, 2011:
What Brilliant Lens, packed full of great info. Nice one
anonymous on September 06, 2011:
I am not a big fan of the Victorian Age Fashion but really liked the way you have put together this Lens. Two Thumbs Up for the great effort!
Chazz from New York on August 14, 2011:
Great lens. Blessed on the Squid Angels Epic Back To School Bus Trip Quest. Your lens will be featured on âWing-ing it on Squidoo,â our lensography of some of the best Squidoo has to offer, as soon as the quest has been completed.
Blonde Blythe from U.S.A. on July 23, 2011:
Wonderful lens! I really enjoyed it! :)
dragonsix on July 01, 2011:
Wow! What a lens! This is the type of history I like, the way people lived.
KANEsUgAr on June 30, 2011:
Crazy fashion, those poor women were probably only comfortable while in bed.
Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on June 17, 2011:
Maybe No.31 the gem bustle would go with the steampunk look?
Beepopalula on June 02, 2011:
Lovely fashion ! So elegant and beautiful ! Love your lens !
puerdycat lm on May 16, 2011:
Lovely. like-fave-roll to my dress-design-made-simple
ChrisDay LM on May 08, 2011:
Nice! Lensrolled to my Victorian Era quiz.
victorianpassage on April 28, 2011:
Yes and Yes hehe. Loved the lens! I love the old time bathing suits!
anonymous on April 27, 2011:
Wonderful lens! Fun, too. I love to look at vintage fashions from different ages. Great job here!
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on April 22, 2011:
Absolutely amazing. You have done a beautiful job on this trendy fashion of the olden day article. Beautiful and blessed.
victorianpassage on April 21, 2011:
Enjoyed all the images you have here! Thanks for sharing them. =)
anonymous on March 16, 2011:
Boy I am glad I did not grow up in that era...way too much clothing to have to put on!!