What are the styles of dressing for lady in the 19th century?

What is the dressing style for ladies in the 19th century? I know there's victorian, anything other than that which is not so 'ballroom'-ish? Pictures to show would be great as well~


Its for class, and I am totally clueless. lol.

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    19th Century? That could be anywhere from Napoleonic, Regency, Romantic, to Victorian. Styles changed from decade to decade, and other than the ladies always wearing floor length skirts and corsets, the changes could be drastic.

    The Napoleonic, or late Georgian, times was for about twenty years from the 1790s to the 1810s. The style for women was generally a long full skirted dress with a high waistline and tight fitting sleeves. Everyday wear would be simple and worn over a chemise. More formal and upper class wear could have many ribbons around the bodice and hemlines of the skirt and sleeves, lace and flowers at the neckline, and no chemise was worn, which could result in a very low neckline. As for hairstyles, wigs were still common as they were during the 1700s, although the colors were more natural rather than white. If a wig wasn't worn, the hair was piled as high on the head as possible, maybe with the aid of padding.

    Regency is typically from 1800 to 1829. Styles were similar but the skirts became less full, waistlines raised to directly under the bust, and the chemise was all but done away with and necklines were more commonly very low. Sleeves were usually poufier, and resembled a mushroom cap. Fabric was commonly very sheer and whimsical. Wigs were all but done away with, while curly-q styles came into style.

    Romantic is generally from 1830 to maybe 1845. We see the typical "Victorian" styles arriving with fuller skirts, soon worn over hoops. Sleeves were still very poufy, and the waistline dropped drastically, while the neckline raised some. The bodice was very tight. This is when the "modern" corset came into the scene. Hair styles also took on a more "Victorian" look with a bun, and maybe curls down the neck and sides of the face.

    Now we're in actual Victorian. Early Victorian is known for the hoop skirt. From 1840 to 1860 the bodice was very tight, while the waistline continued to drop until it reached the natural waist. In the 1860s the skirt reached its biggest and the bodice became more relaxed. Hair styles were buns with poufs of hair on each side of the head in the '40s and '50s, and simple buns or snoods in the '60s. In the 1870s the skirts and bodices both slimmed down drastically and the bustle appeared. The skirts became more decorated with mock-aprons and peplums and all sorts of fabric and trim draped over the bustle and sewn onto the hem. Hair styles were "fancy" buns with many twists and pins worn high on the head. In the 1880s, the corset reached its high point and the "wasp-waist" became the fashion (which was extremely unhealthy). Skirts started filling out again, but fell strait to the floor and the bustle disappeared. Hair styles were more simple buns worn lower on the head, with curls down the neck and curly bangs framing the face. In the 1890s, huge poufy sleeves came back and skirts took on a more "bell" shape. Bodices started loosening up little by little again until around 1900 the pigeon-fronted look was in, and a lady took on the shape of an "S" when looking at her from the side. In the '90s hair was usually worn in a simple tight bun, and around 1900 turned to a softer and looser bun or chignon.

    Here's some links-


    This is a great sight for studying historical fashion. Not too many pictures, however a lot of good info.


    This is a sight for historically accurate sewing patterns. The descriptions and pictures might be helpful.


    These are real photographs of some of the styles worn during the Victorian and Edwardian eras.



    These are both costume shops where you can buy historically accurate costumes. The clothes at Premier are beautiful, and just looking at the pictures can be informative.


    And finally, this sight is where you can buy actual antique clothing. So you can see modern color pictures of actual antique clothing worn anywhere from the 1700s to the 1970s (so it includes lots from the 1800s).

    Hope this helps. Good Luck! =)

  • Mary
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    As the say in fashion: Fashion repeats itself. We have seen the 18th century clothing come back in John Gallianos collection as well as the 1980's styles from designers like Marc Jacobs. I think that it definently could come back 19th century fashion. I personally am not a fan of it but who knows, if it ends up on one of Lagerfeld or Dolce and Gabbanas runways its sure to be a hit. Don't plan on it for Spring or Summer possibly winter.

  • Padme
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    You could go very simple...Ya know, like pioneer wear. Simple, practical dresses. Watch an episode of Little House On the Prairie.

  • ChiChi
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    A few links...

    The first half of this page is what the upper class wore, but the second half is everyday wear for normal people: http://members.aol.com/EastLynne/Instyle.htm

    This page has links to various dresses, some everyday fashion: http://dig.lib.niu.edu/teachers/lesson2-dress.html

    I hope that helps, at least a little.

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  • 1 decade ago


    Here are photos of 19th Century Fashion. Hope it helps.

  • 1 decade ago

    raffles, long dressed ballroom type with puffy sleeves looks all elegant to see

  • 1 decade ago

    darlin.. be yourself...=) somethin ur comfortable in yet stunnin n unique for yourself... =).... fashion is others statement.. make your own fashion statement =)

  • 1 decade ago

    GOOGLE it!!!!!!!

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