The sweeping crinolines, corsets, bustles, bonnets and parasols of Victorian Britain are indispensable to our period dramas, and their influences can still be seen within burlesque and steampunk fashions. This is no surprise, as nineteenth-century clothing was so wide-ranging and decorative. We might unfairly think gentlemen's costume to be rather plain and uniform, but this is more by contrast to the overwhelming ostentation, luxury fabrics, fine accessories and constantly evolving silhouettes of ladies' fashion.
This colourful introduction to what the Victorians wore describes the vibrant, fancy materials and lace edging at one end of the spectrum, and the tightlaced sobriety of mourning apparel at the other. It examines both high fashion imports from Paris and more modest everyday wear, evening costume, bridal styles, children's clothes and sportswear, and explores the social and cultural backdrop to clothing in Britain's great age of industry and empire.