September 8


Rules of Victorian Dressing

The Victorian Era people were VERY strict about dressing. These people did not play games. 

One mistake and you were out. 

Depending on the time of the day, the season, and so much more, the rules varied! It might sound complicated, but it’s the same thing we do now. We dress differently with friends, at work, and on special occasions. 

So today, I’ll show you some wonderful types of dress and where, how and when they were worn!

The Sacque


Although a Victorian Lady has to be modest and decent at all times, she still was allowed to have her privacy. The Sacque was a robe that fell loose on the body, but it didn’t offer the ideal covering for the time. 

It was meant to be worn in the bed chambers, while breakfasting in bed and when doing the morning toilette. A Lady couldn’t greet visitors with this, it would be scandalous!

The Wrapper


A better, more modest, but still comfortable option was the Wrapper. 

The Wrapper was exactly that; a loose beautiful gown meant for the early hours. The good thing about this gown was that it was decent enough to cover a Lady up, so if any unexpected visitors popped up, she could welcome them without any issues!

Of course, a corset should be worn underneath. Remember, a corset was like a bra for people back then! Most of us, wouldn’t greet visitors without a bra!

Although it wasn’t the most perfect appearance, it did the job well enough!

Visiting Toilette

Visiting Dresses

During the late morning and afternoon, visitors were expected. When going to see friends or extended family, this type of gown is expected to be worn. A bonnet needs to be worn at all times during the visit! 

Hats, of course, were still mandatory during the era, but a bonnet for these occasions would suffice. 

Beach Outfits

Seaside Costumes

Although expected, I was still surprised by it! Nowadays, a walk by the beach can show us the exact opposite of this picture. 

Despite its restrictive appearance, the fabric was ideal for withstanding the damp wind and the seawater. Hats, once again, were a must! 

Popular colors included blue, red, and white, but you could find them in a variety of colors! Needless to say, there was no swimming happening there

Wedding Gowns

Wedding Gown

And finally, the most anticipated one!

Before the 1840’s, women would wear whatever color dress they’d like, there were no limits. But after Queen Victorian’s wedding, white was suddenly everywhere!

One bad (or good, depending on how you see it) about that era is that royalty ruled fashion. They said what’s in and people followed it. A lot of the time, their word was law in that sense. 

After the 1840s, every woman of status would wear a white gown, with a high neck and long sleeves. Commoners would use any formal, presentable dress they had, regardless of the color. But that doesn’t mean it’d be appropriate for higher society!

Victorian Era - epochs-of-fashion: Ladies costume through the ages

What do you think, my sweeties?

I find myself to be loving the look of the dresses, but I hate how restrictive and forced everything was! Some freedom would be perfect 😀

-Written by Olivia Bennet


Articles, Regency Romance

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  • I still wonder how one use the bathroom back then and still look pleasing afterwards. How does one sit with those large bustles I think I would be afraid I’d land on the floor. What a spectacle. Thanks Olivia very enjoyable

  • Loved the article ! Through this pandemic women who are working from home are wearing PJ’s ,sweats and no bras only no this because my daughters have told me this and if they have to have face time for meeting or with work people they just make sure screen covers just shoulders and up !

  • I can remember the rules my mother imposed on me when I was growing up & one of them was to wear clothes modestly & NEVER greet anyone in my night clothes! As I grew older such impositions were relaxed & I dressed to suit the occasion; uniform for school, semi casual clothes for work & dressy clothes for a night out at the movies or elsewhere like parties. Today, such harsh impositions no longer apply as anything goes especially at the beach or at the disco. Modesty is no longer the yardstick but if such provocative outer wear did get a negative response, the blame was laid on the person giving that negative response. I guess the times dictate just what is acceptable or not in fashion.

    • Thanks for the comment, Irene! And thank you for sharing a story like that. You’re right, times have changed so much!

  • I really can not understand how women could find time for all these changes each day perhaps they had Very little else to do if they had more money than senes how did women who had opinions ever get along.

  • As much as I love Regency and Victorian times, especially men and women’s fashion. It’s amazing how they had access to the most gorgeous fabrics. They spared no expense, right down to ribbons, bonnets, stockings and gloves. Where did they have access to all these goods. They must have been imported from other countries.
    In this time, I no for sure I could n wear all those layers. No electricity or plumbing? They would find me out cold on the floor somewhere.

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