One of the most significant and popular eras in the UK was the Victorian Era. During this time, Queen Victoria was the ruling monarch of the country. This Era is also known for its women and their high sense of fashion and clothing. In fact, their sense of fashion and clothing were so popular that other nations in the world copied them.
Ann Dewitt is enthusiastic about the Victorian Era and she says that the 19th Century had witnessed significant manufacture of clothing for ladies from all walks of society. The Ann DeWitt Civil War accounts also highlight how much of these clothes were manufactured in factories. During this period there were also major advancements in communication and this also meant that fashion would change drastically too. The trends roughly remained in vogue for a decade but with the fast developments in the field of communication, they started changing every year.
She says that one of the most widely sought after fashion accessories of the Victorian Era was the use of bonnets. They were heavily decorated and dainty in nature. They were subtle and better than the huge great hats that preceded before them. If you look at the dresses of the Victorian Era, you will find that along with bonnets, the dresses also became narrow. The popular hairstyle was of ringlets and this enhanced the style of women. The dresses they wore were narrow and tight. They also had boning near the bodice – this might have transmitted the message that women were the weaker sex!
With the passage of time, around 1841, there were cartridge pleats in the skirts that women wore. They also had flat pleats that gave width to their hemlines. Gradually their skirts became wider and in 1842 approximately, petticoats were needed to support them. These petticoats were stiff in structure and they needed horse hair for support. The term “crinoline” referred to horse hair and it was originally used to denote the word crin that meant hair of horse. Gradually, around 1851, women started to sport the hooped petticoats that became popular by 1856.
Now, when it came to men’s fashion, unlike women, the trends were less volatile. They remained in vogue for several decades. When it comes to fashion of children, there were changes during the Victorian Era as well. The male toddlers wore frocks that had pleated skirts till the age of four. Kids also wore suit jackets without collars. Little girls wore the pinafore dress that looked like a dress without collar or sleeves. They were generally worn over jumpers or a blouse.
The Ann DeWitt Civil War accounts are very insightful and throw a lot of light on the fashion of people especially women during the rich Victorian Era. She has described the Era so vividly that you can actually visualize the way women looked during that period. If you have an interest in fashion and history, it is interesting to go back into time and discover the amazing fashion trends of the Victorian Era with Ann DeWitt!