Victorian fashion

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Emmy Destinn 1909

Victorian fashion refers to the various fashions and trends in British culture that emerged and developed in the United Kingdom and the British Empire throughout the Victorian era, roughly 1830s to 1900s. The period saw many changes in fashion, including changes in clothing, architecture, literature, and the decorative and visual arts.

In the early days of the fashion, female dresses were simple and pale. Modesty was a very important feature of Victorian Fashion, dresses that covered the arms and went right down to the ankles were favoured.

By 1907, clothing was increasingly factory-made and often sold in large, fixed price department stores. Custom sewing and home sewing were still significant, but on the decline. New machinery and materials developed clothing in many ways.

The introduction of the lock-stitch sewing machine in mid-century simplified both home and boutique dressmaking, and enabled a fashion for lavish application of trim that would have been prohibitively time-consuming if done by hand. Lace machinery made lace at a fraction of the cost of the old developed new, cheap, bright dyes that displaced the old animal or vegetable dyes.