The following information is kindly provided by the former owner Kim.

Costume Overview
Victorian costume changed dramatically over the entire 19th century period from Early-Victorian fashion (typified by crinolines and engageantes) through to Mid-Victorian fashion (typified by bustles) and finally to Late-Victorian fashion (typified by slim fitting dresses, suits, and S-bend corsets). You can find more information out about this fashion time period via the links below. Please join regardless of what kind you are fond of: you can specify your preference on the member list. :)

Early-Victorian costume is defined as existing between the period 1837 to 1856. It emphasised feminine subservity and lavish trimming that wasn't seen in the earlier part of the 19th century. It was characterised by boned bodices, tight fitting waitlines, and false undersleeves (engageantes). By the 1840s and 50s, crinoline skirts gained popularity and continued on into mid-Victorian fashion. Around this time period, bertha necklines (exposing the shoulders) were worn by middle and upperclass women in evening wear.

Mid-Victorian costume lasted from around 1860 to 1880. During this time period the crinoline skirts were gradually faded out and instead were replaced with the bustle. Initially these were soft bustles which emphasised the hips and the back of the skirt. Within Late-Victorian costume, hard bustles gained popularity. Trains also became popular in both everyday wear and evening wear.

Late-Victorian costume lasted between 1878 and 1901. Although trains remained, women wore slim fitting dresses with no soft bustles. That is not to say that they left Late-Victorian fashion completely as they had a short revival in the 1880s with the introduction of the hard bustle. This did not last long however with the advent of ladies "power dressing" which involved tailored suits (with slim fitting long skirts) and mutton sleeves. By the 1890s, similar dress to that seen in the Edwardian period with the advent of S-bend corsets were seen.

Crinolines and Corsets: The Victorian Costume fanlisting. Part of Written-Sins.org. Open since February 14, 2005. No copyright infringement intended. All images to their respective owners.

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