19th Century Fashion: A close look at the reference periods of fashion, which is in a continuous cycle of development, change and turning back. Our fifth stop is the 19th century, rich in style, with different eras.
Fashion refers to currently popular clothing styles. It always develops and changes and returns to the beginning. Every style and trend in fashion is recalled from an absolute time or era. That is why it is very important and valuable to have an idea about the history of this evolution.
As you get an idea about a person, you also learn his style. While reading the history of humanity, it is inevitable to take a look at the history of fashion.
In this article series, we will take a closer look at the periods used by fashion as a reference. Enjoy reading..
19th Century Fashion and Changing Silhouettes
The 19th century bears the important traces of enrichment and differentiation in fashion with their distinctive silhouettes in different decades, with their defining features derived from the dominant monarch’s lifestyle, art movements and social classes. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Early 19th Century: Kingdom Fashion and Romantic Styles
Fashion design in the early 19th century, his father King III. When George loses his mental balance and is unable to fulfill his duties, he is referred to as the Kingdom style, named after his deputy George, who enters the throne. The power of attorney ends when he becomes king in 1930.
Women’s clothing in the early 1800s was characterized by high-waist-looking Imperial dresses and classical Ancient Greek lines, which were draped without draping, starting just below the chest. The characters in the Jane Austin novels also dress this way.
The period heralds the Romantic age, inspired by the new romantic writing of writers such as Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott.
Kingdom fashion also manifests itself in France in the Napoleon Bonaparte empire. In 1804, Napoleon wanted France to be a fashion pioneer once again. He upgrades imported British fabrics with French lace embroidery and forbids women from wearing the same outfit twice in the palace. Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine, is the style icon and trendsetter of her day. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
The empire style is a high-waisted silhouette that emerged in the late 1790s, and it has been an appearance that has often been re-designed in women’s clothing over the past 200 years. The most distinctive feature of the period is that it draws a line to the strict and crude rules of fashion in the Middle Ages, and this continues until the 20th century.
In the early 19th century, Imperial-style dresses pour light, volatile fabrics starting just below the chest. The low rectangular neckline and small, short, fluffy sleeves are accentuated on the low shoulders.
As the lightness and color preference in the fabrics used, white and its shades are features that evoke the ancient Greek silhouettes of the period. Thicker fabrics are preferred for clothing to protect from the cold in winter.
The indispensable part of the wardrobes of women who follow fashion closely is bolero. This short, white thin fabric shirt is worn inside the dress and allows the chest area to be covered. While boleros are common in daily use, cleavage is essential in evening wear.
After Napoleon returned from Egypt, the eastern breezes he brought with him were reflected in women’s clothing. In the Empire style, the dresses now have embroidery on the hem.
With 1808, long ridges replace small arms; Ribbons are helped to create this look, also called Marie sleeves. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
While Britain and France are at war, the styles of both countries differ. Since women are unaware of what the enemy is wearing, they create their own styles.
Traces of the Gothic style can be found in England around 1811. Dresses begin to diverge from pure Ancient Greek lines; shoulders widen for more comfortable movement while the body takes shape.
Backing the Elizabethan era with ruffles and embroidery on the skirts are the most defining features of the style.
While the waist line is drawn to the standard waistline in England, it is still high in France.
In 1815, when the wars were over, the waistline rose again as Britain began to follow French fashion. The French, on the other hand, copy the British Gothic style and after 1820 their waistline drops and is revealed with a sash. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
1825-1835: The Romantic Period
The gothic effect and rise and fall of the Middle Ages, and the fading of the Empire style with the waistline, which eventually found itself in normal alignment, makes the new Romantic movement enter the fashion radar of women.
Stems taper into a V-shape; women start to wear corsets again.
Arms broaden; Large, balloon-shaped Gignot arms are created. The fluff grows so large over time that fabrics often need support. The arms, which reach a huge size in this upper arm and gather at the wrist, are called “sheep’s legs”.
Skirts gain volume with ruffles on the hem, floral embroidery, Italian reliefs and padding. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Defining Clothing and Accessories of Early 19th Century Fashion
Short, bolero type jackets that are worn by men over tailed jackets find a place in women’s clothing and remain popular for 20 years. Silk or woolen fabrics are preferred for the jacket, which can be worn both indoors and outdoors. The jackets are decorated with cords or braids. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
These dresses, sewn with a decorative lining through the skirt, were worn both indoors and outdoors. When they were worn indoors, the front of them was opened, allowing the clothing to be displayed. The materials preferred for outdoor versions would be heavier and the colors darker. It got its name as riding coat in the 18th century and passed to French first and then to other languages as redingote. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
In addition to shawls knitted with materials such as cashmere, high-quality wool and sometimes with Asian-inspired patterns, short and long capes were among the accessories that were frequently used throughout the period. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Hair and Headwear
Royal era hairstyles can often be described as curls left on the sides or buns done at the top.
Heavily embroidered Leghorn hats stand out with soft caps decorated with ruffles and growing ribbons. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Usually flat or low-heeled shoes were decorated with ribbon or flower embroidery depending on the occasion. Since they are made of soft fabrics, they are ideal for daily use. Short boots were preferred in cold weather. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
While women used to carry their belongings in pouches tied around their waist, bags started to be used with the Royal era. Because high-waisted elegant dresses make it impossible to attach a pocket to the waist. Therefore, women carry small embroidered bags called reticles, which are shrunk at the top. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
1837-1890s: Victorian Era of Fashion
Despite the overly formal and formal feminine ideal of the period, Victorian fashion created extravagant, flamboyant looks. Tight corsets, gigantic hoop skirts and overly flamboyant tartans dominated. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Dress styles were dictated by the privileged, and stylish garments were a sign of dignity. Thanks to the detachable collars and cuffs, women could differentiate their appearance and give them versatility. And of course, wealthy women had more of their clothes adorned with more embroidery in higher quality fabrics. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
The Victorian Period, which went down in history between 1837-1890, takes its name from the British Queen Victoria (1819-1901), one of the most important and influential monarchs, when women still had little power and opportunity. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
In those days women were under the auspices of men; first their father or guardian, then their spouse. A young woman was expected to be indistinct and gentle, and not to break the word of the man she was under her care. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Job opportunities to train young girls were limited; they could only become nanny, housekeepers, and later factory workers. Of course, rural women had jobs on the farms where they lived. Some women also made money from the domestic manufacturing industry; however, the Industrial Revolution ended such initiatives as wool spinning and lace processing.
The Industrial Revolution created new assets for investors, industrialists, and traders. A new middle class was born, proud of their status; and it did not fail to showcase its middle-class presence. The women wore their status as fabric on them; It was precisely for this reason that the skirts of the Victorian Era swelled.
The Industrial Revolution created a new urbanization that filled towns and cities with workers working in new factories. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Early Victorian Fashion
With 1836, new changes were seen in the Romantic style of dressing. Large Gignot sleeves suddenly tapered and the seam lines on the shoulders of the dresses fell off. The torsos surrounding the body gave way to curves revealing the waist. With the new pleat folding method cartrige, the skirts were given volume without making the waist clumsy.
Light colored dresses were given new looks with detachable white collars and cuffs. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
In the 1840s, extra volants were added to skirts, and women began to wear another short skirt over their skirts in their daily life. Wide skirts creating an hourglass silhouette became popular, and women supported the look with layers of underskirt.
In nightwear, shoulders and cleavage were exposed, and shoulder straps were lifted from corsets. Sleeveless prom dresses were usually short.
During this period, women’s hair was generally long and mostly gathered in a bun. In the 1840s, curly curls were dangled from either side of the ears. In the 1870s, long hair was tossed to the side and left open. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Artificial flowers such as velvet pansies and roses, artificial leaves and embroidered butterflies were attached to the hair.
Makeup was something that the protagonists did. The women of the Victorian days were very fair skinned and at times tinted their cheeks with lipstick.
And the Victorian corset… The corset, an underwear piece, had steel lines — formerly made of whale bone. Though criticized for being unhealthy and certainly uncomfortable, corsets became a staple of fashion throughout the 19th century. It was the corsets that guaranteed women’s social status, dignity, and young figure ideal. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Middle Victorian Krolines and Pulley Skirts
In the 1850s, dome-shaped skirts gave way to conical skirts that became flared at the waist. This new hourglass look brought proportions exaggeration. Layered petticoats were insufficient, and croline was born to add volume to the skirts. Croline was heavy, coarse fabric woven from horsehair, expensive and impossible to clean.
Caged chrolines, which replaced layered petticoats, were referred to as rim skirts; they were more comfortable than the lighter, cheaper and heavier ones. So much so that even lower-middle-class women, brides and women working in the factory were able to incorporate these looks into their styles. The pulley industry has grown so much that 3000 to 4000 pulleys are produced per day in factories in New York.
Although the first examples of hoop skirts stretched to the ground, in the 1860s their skirt lengths got shorter. The sleeves were usually tight at the top and opened in the middle to form a bell. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Sewing Machine and Victorian Technology
The mass production of sewing machine and the invention of synthetic dyes in the 1850s opened the door for major changes in fashion. Previously, clothes were colored with natural dyes and sewn by hand. During this period, there were new developments that allowed the paper molds to be formed and the machines to cut many molds at the same time. Clothes could now be produced faster and cheaper.
In 1860, Parisian dress designer Charles Frederick Worth designed clothes worn by the French Empress Eugenie, the Austrian Empress Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria. His reputation spread so much that he became known as the Father of Haute Couture. In 1864 he introduced a top skirt that was buttoned to the back, and in 1868 a top skirt that wrapped around the back creating a bouffant.
Meanwhile, those with some fashion-savvy flair felt that handling too much was going astray. They came to the conclusion that simpler forms and elegant silhouettes should be recalled with pale and soft tones.
The followers of the aestheticism movement, with their point of view for art and pure beauty, despised the Industrial Revolution, and glorified a simpler life and the clothes that reflect this life. These were clothes made of draped and unstructured lines, colored in pale tones with natural dyes and hand-crafted with patterns inspired by nature. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Late Victorian: Tarlatan and Suit
Fillings that emphasize the back are called tarlan. At the end of the 1700s, the use of costume, which emphasized the fluffiness of skirts, eventually became the focus of fashion. At the end of the 1800s, it was said that the back fill was tarted. Fastened with a buckle belt, tarlan was rectangular or half-moon fillings woven from horsehair.
The back of the skirts was embossed in 1868. The ideal female form was depicted with a narrow, dropped shoulder, wide hips, and thin waist. Although this new appearance created by Worth in 1867 by using field fields had a revolutionary effect, the rates started to shrink in 1887. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
With the 1890s, interest in the field gradually decreased. The back of the skirts started to be given volume, cut and pleat. During the day, the women wore two-piece outfits consisting of skirts and shirts. The shirt was an embroidered women’s blouse resembling a men’s shirt. One-piece dresses were preferred for night events.
Shirt-blouse was one of the most preferred pieces of the 1890s. Some factories had all their production on this. Read more information below about 19th Century Fashion.
Outside of their homes, women also wore jackets that matched their skirts; This silhouette can be recorded as the first women’s suit. Suits were sewn from tweed and heavy fabrics. Light fabrics such as linen were preferred for summer suits. These suits, which emerged with inspiration from men’s clothing, could only come out of the hands of tailors.
As Queen Victoria got older, the fashionable gaze began to turn to her son, Princess Edward of Wales, and with her death in 1901 change gradually came; the ages coincided with each other. The corset is over and a new S-curved look is born.
Reflections of the 19th Century in Today’s Fashion