The History of the Victorian Era Clothing

The Victorian Era refers to the time when Queen Victoria came to rule the British. It was later followed by the Edwardian Era. The duration of the Era was 1837 to 1901. This Era was much known for a change in the social sites and development in the technology, steel, and textile sector. The women could have supported the family before. But when this Era began, the class difference between men and women was much more defined. Social class was greatly practiced by then. Women weren’t allowed much to go outside or give helping hands in the business. Among many sites, we are going to discuss Victorian-era clothing. Development in technology and textile helped the British to bring improvement in their clothing fashion. From their clothing patterns, you will be able to guess a lot about the British people back then.

Click here if you are looking for a victorian-inspired dress for yourself.

Clothing in the 1800s England

There was a wide variety of apparel in 1800s England. There were some basic things which were available all over this century. For example, chemise and drawers for men, gowns for women, waistcoat, greatcoat, skirt, stocking (which were up to the knee), pantaloons, cravat, poufy and so on. Kerchief and corset were used as foundation garments. Stockings, drawers, and chemise were used as an undergarment for women. Men with mustaches and beards used to wear long coats and waistcoats. They also used to wear caps. These caps used to be tall. But with time and in the late 1800s, this changed. There were coats and jackets for men. They would like to have a three-piece suit. Learn in detail about Victorian Men’s Fashion here! Women used to wear long Victorian gowns and skirts. A difference could be noticed from the dresses of two women who belong to different social classes. They also used to wear jewelry.

Victorian Clothing
Clothing in the 1800s

Victorian Fashion Timeline

The Victorian fashion timeline can be divided into some parts based on the fashion pattern. Over time this fashion changed and brought variety in the clothing. Every timeline can be divided into each decade. The transition of change in the clothing pattern between these decades was a bit fast.

1840: When the Victorian Era started, women used to wear long gowns and bodices. These gowns were full in size. And Victorian bodices had a low neckline. The sleeves were off-shoulder. The more layers the dress had, the more the women were wealthier. And men used to wear long coats and pants. They had a cap also.

Victorian Fashion in 1840s
1840 victorian Fashion

1850: In 1850, women’s gowns got wider, and the neckline came a bit upwards to the neck. Women liked to have exposed necklines in the evening or any function. New colors were added to the dresses. Men used to have frock coats. These coats had a full chapel, metal buttons, and loose cuts. The way of wearing a bow tie depended on the age of a man.

1850s Victorian Fashion
1850s Victorian Fashion

1860:Many differences began to be noticed in this decade. Women started to wear dresses that had fewer layers at the front. But the layers began to increase at the back. The high neckline was being used. Wealthier women would wear a low neckline all the time but especially in the evening and high neckline in the day time. The length of frock coats began to decrease for men. Sack coats began to gain more popularity. Ties were broader in shape.

1860s Victorian Fashion
1860s Victorian Fashion

1870: In 1870, women started to wear plain dresses. Silhouette began to have fewer layers. The neckline was high. Bodices began to end at the waist. And full sleeves began under the shoulder line. For men, the three-piece suit began to gain popularity. People started wearing ascot ties. Frock and sack coats were worn at the same time. And with these, there was a cap always on the head of men. These were long in size.

victorian fashion in 1870
1870s Victorian Fashion

1880: During 1880, the designers began to design dresses in a way so that the bustle could be more noticeable. The bodices started to shrink and got longer in length and tighter in shape. Men used to wear a long black waistcoat and dark tailcoat. Tuxedo was seen to be worn as a formal outlook. The heels of men’s shows used to be higher.

Victorian Dresses 1880
1880s Victorian Fashion

1890: In 1890, The crinoline and bustle got abandoned by the women. They were more aware of fashion. Sleeves began under the shoulder. And the bodices were made a bit tighter to make a woman look more slim and fit. Men began to wear sporty clothes along with formal dresses. They were more focused on themselves as well. Blazer for men was first made in this decade.

1890s Victorian Fashion
1890s Victorian Fashion

Find more detailed Victorian fashion timeline here!

Victorian Era Clothing for Children

Children from this Era also had Victorian-inspired clothing. Their dress would resemble the fashion of men and women but in a miniature form. Girls used to wear skirts mainly. And these skirts would contain many layers. For this, their clothes were uncomfortable for wearing. There is an interesting fact about the boys’ clothing. You may find it funny that most of the boys from this Era used to wear frocks and blouses over pleated skirts. But that’s only till the age of four. Boys used to wear knickerbockers, sailor suits, and jackets in their teenage. Over time, their fashion changed. They adopted a formal dress in adulthood. But compared to girls, boys had more comfortable clothes. They could move freely.

Victorian Children Fashion
Victorian Children Fashion

Victorian Era clothing poor

The Victorian Era defined the social class more clearly. You could differentiate their class and social status only by seeing their clothes. As wealthy people had gorgeous clothing, specialized design. The dress of the poor had some characteristics too. From this section, you will get some idea about Victorian-era clothing poor.

Poor men:

The poor men’s dress and rich men’s dress don’t have many differences. The only difference that you will notice is that the poor men’s dress was more tattered. They would wear a dress many times. And their dresses tended to be extended.

Victorian Fashion for poor men
Poor Victorian Men

Poor women:

Their dresses were comparably thin and dirty. There was no sewing machine to make good clothing for them. And No silk or fabric was used to make these dresses. Poor Victorian women used to use cotton for making the dress. Sometimes wool was also used. Some women had the habit of wearing a bonnet.

Poor Victorian Women
Poor Victorian Women

Poor children:

Poor Victorian parents would use second-hand clothes for their children. For this reason, the dresses were dirty and tattered sometimes. When the children grew up, they were likely to pass down the clothes to their younger ones. They didn’t have more than two dresses.

Poor Victorian Children
Poor Victorian Children

Victorian-inspired Clothing

The Victorian Era was much known for its fashion. People of different ages have praised and loved the designs. For having vast popularity, some companies have decided to give some touch of the Victorian fashion on modern clothing. And they also have succeeded in doing this. These Victorian-inspired clothing will surely catch your attraction.
For women, you can get a skirted dress. This will give a Victorian feel. You can get different kinds of jewelry and other accessories.

For men, you can buy a three-piece suit. Tuxedo is also an example of Victorian clothing. You can try that as a formal outlook. Aside from this, you can try pants and jackets, cravat ties, boots, and so on.

Modern Victorian dresses sell

Among the new generation, Victorians’ clothing is getting popular rapidly. As they resemble romanticism, people tend to get more attractive to them. For this popularity, many companies have stepped forward for serving Victorian-based clothing (for example: Victorian Choice).

Modern Victorian dresses selling can be an option for earning money nowadays.
You can modify the dresses keeping the Victorian theme. There can be a variety of products and accessories with this clothing. This business will not only be good for yourself, but it also will help people to be a part of history.


The Victorian Era is a sign of romanticism, social class, technology, and so on. But among these, what significantly puts impact is clothing. By this Victorian age, the technology had developed a bit. Thus, the authority had chances of bringing new designs of clothing. They used to use silk, cotton, wool, and different kinds of fabrics for making dresses. Many colors were seen particularly on dresses, which refer that the Victorians liked to look colorful.

Victorian-era clothing has so much impact on the clothing sector that even nowadays, people are looking for these designs. So, the scope has been created for meeting up those needs. So, what are you waiting for? Grab this opportunity. Learn more about the Victorians and help people to be a part of history.