Inspired by: Victorian Fashion

One of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day is to read historical fiction novels, specifically those set in Victorian Europe, which the second half of the 19th century.  I love how reading gives me the ability to slip into another world for a few hours.  I don’t think I would have actually been able to survive back then, because, well, I really love my Chi hair straightener and heated apartment.  BUT it’s amazing to imagine being an aristocratic woman during that time period: the grand balls, the waltzing, and, of course, the fashion!

Arguably, the most influential figure in Parisian fashion during the Victorian period was Charles Worth, known today by many as the Father of Haute couture.  Pieces from his label, House of Worth, were the most sought-after creations of fashion during the time.  Aristocratic ladies’ fashion during the late 1800s was all about impeccable tailoring and a perfect, meticulous fit.  Worth became so infamous that he was able to actually turn away customers and fit only the beautiful ladies whom he wished to dress.

Victorian Wedding Gown

Worth Tea Gown
Worth Tea Gown
Fashions of 1883

Fashions of 1883

It is hard not to be inspired by the beautiful fashion during this era.  Tragically, without a team of dedicated maids, it’s not quite possible to don a Worth-style creation today.  Here’s my take on how to make Victorian fashion wearable for spring and summer 2013!


Though this maxi skirt from Akira is more reminiscent of a Victorian era petticoat, the elegant, ladylike work on the sheer bottom has a romantic, old-world feel.

Screen shot 2013-04-10 at 6.50.52 PM

Add a pop of color with this flower print corset from Topshop, reminiscent of a lovely English garden and much more comfortable than a corset from the 1800s.


Keep the look from becoming too girly by adding this chambray boyfriend shirt from Madewell.


Finish off with a statement cameo necklace to invoke Victorian vibes, like this one from Etsy shop GayaDesigns.

If you are interested in historical fiction, check out authors Lauren Willig, Deanna Raybourn, and Tasha Alexander, all of whom have series featuring strong, smart ladies who happen to fight crime and/or solve mysteries while looking fabulous along the way.

What time period would you choose to visit if you could?  Share in the comments!


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