Exploration One: Victorian Dress


The Victorians had very particular ideals about gender and sexuality. It was both a very conservative, and a very bohemian renaissance in society. Queen Victoria I was the face of women fashion during this time. Victoria’s legacy, and the times sexist Because of this all of a sudden socially and fashionably, everyone sunk back into a modest reserved pattern. There was a rule for everything about being a woman.


‘The majority of women (happily for them) are not very much troubled by sexual feelings of any kind’: from William Acton’s medical text, The Functions and Disorders of the Reproductive Organs.

The artistic and creative industry was booming across Europe and the Americas. Philosophers, writers and poets, great minds flourished. Romanticism was a feeling, a phenomenon which blasted the world. It took place during a renaissance, in which the world was changing at such a phenomenal rate, romanticism was a reaction.


Along with this came the stuffy, prude side to the Victorian age. There was a huge gap between the classes, and while there were some people who’m had a huge amount of money, there was mass poverty. Because of this, the amount of suffering that happened during this era was immense. Women were very much repressed and it was about this time

The era of Victorian clothing, started in the 1850s, and carried on until 1901. It was a dramatic change from the neoclassical era, because there was so much thought put into the clothing that women would wear within a certain set of strict guidelines.


A woman had to wear a certain arm length, which matched her skirts, and those from high stations were expected to change their gowns at least three to four times a day (not including accessories).

At about the age of ten, the girls begin to wear corsets, and bind their waists in to the point that it distorts the natural shape of their body, and pulls their waist far in. They would wear hooped skirts, and many layers of petticoats. The more petticoats you could afford, the more in ‘style’ you could be perceived. During this time it became very popular for women to wear militarized jackets. Black was a great favorite of Victorian times, as after Queen Victorias husband died, much of the western world went into morning... Although when the victorians were colorful, they had wonderful taste and range in tone.