If you been reading my blog you would know about the 1880s evening gown I made for the bal at the opera late january. You might also know all about the underwear, corset and petticoat I struggeled to get finished in time for the event.
But I thougt I would show them again in a more structured way.
So today on the “Layering series” (I already done: 1750s, 1810s and 1840s) I will show you all the clothing of a Victorian ladys evening attyre.
So here we go.
As always we begin fully dressed in gown, cape/cloak and muff.
Then we remove the outerwear, to find the evening outfit compleat with glowes, juwelery and fan. You might also be carrying an evening bag or some other accessories.
Removing the accessories we are still fully dressed in our tight fitting gown. The train is almost mandetory for evening gowns, but not worn on everyday dresses.
Then we take of the gowns bodice (in this case the bodice are attached to the train, in other gowns the train might be separate and are removed after the bodice), and reveal the compleat apron and some of the corset-cover. The apron was a nice fashion detail used during the late part of the 19th century. Women wore the apron style both to evening, day and sport dresses.
Then we unfasten the apron and get a good wiew of the highly decorated skirt.
And removing the skirt we find the petticoat with it’s ruffeled backpanel, and the corset-cover – being just a regular tank top at this point (since I haven’t gotten around to make a real one yet). The purpse of both the petticoat and the corset-cover is to smoothen and hide the sharp edges from the foundation wear, and to help give the desired silouett.
Yet another layer is removed and we find the bustle. There are several variations of bustles out there. I wear a relativly smal “Lobster” bustle, but you can just as easerly go bigger or smaler using different styles. (I even know about ladys who use one of there 18th century pocket hoops tied to the back.)
And finaly, after removing the bustle and the corset-cover we find the un-mentionables – the corset, chemise, bloomers, stockings and shoes. The purpose for the undewear are (of course) to keep the finer clothes free from dirt. The corset was used to both mold the body to fashionable shape and to give the gown a nice ad smoth base on which to be worn.
Many people can get quite upset when it comes to discussing corsets, and admittedly some ladys of the victorian age did tight lace, but they where rare exeptions, and most women wore their corsets as bust and back support, and as mentioned, to get a smooth look on their clothes.
So that was that.
And as you can se it still comes back to the same basic clothing items (underwear, shapewear, gown and accessories) during so manny of the different periods.