9 incredible facts about fashion in the Victorian era
The Victorian era (1837-1901) had not only particularly impressive, but also particularly deadly fashion trends to offer. In times of arsenic clothing and impotence-inducing corsets, both those who made the fashion and those who bought it lived dangerously.
Do you want tricks and life hacks that make life easier? Here you go! (Scroll down to find the article on curious fashion trends.)
You can find even more incredible facts about the old fashion trends and an answer to the question of where the underwear with a hole in the crotch comes from below.
Although doctors in Victorian times warned against wearing corsets because they restricted breathing, could break ribs and in the worst case even lead to death, the corset was still an important part of fashion well into the 20th century. The illustrations show how the long-term anatomical changes caused by a corset were imagined at the time.
Wikipedia / Public Domain
2.) Poisonous green
The color “Parisian Green” (also “Schweinfurt Green”) was used for clothes, wallpaper and toys, among other things. Due to its bright color, it was also very popular with painters – for example with Van Gogh. Unfortunately, the paint contained arsenic, which could lead to poisoning if there was high humidity or damp walls, abrasion or contact with a certain fungus. After the paint had been banned for textiles and everyday objects and, most recently (1888) for artists, it still had a second career as a protective coating for ships and as a pesticide in viticulture.
3.) Hats with stuffed birds
The trend to decorate hats with feathers or even with whole stuffed birds was less of a problem for those who wore the hats than for the birds that were hunted and killed especially for it.
4.) Insect embroidery
After all, no bugs had to suffer for dazzling insect embroidery on clothes, as only fancy wings were used. By the way, there are still designers who rely on insects these days, as our article on creepy acrylic nails with dead insects shows you.
5.) Hairy accessories
Typical Victorian jewelry are brooches with the hair cut off by relatives or friends – as memorial jewelry to remember someone you love or have loved (if it is a deceased person). You can see how people today use tattoos to keep the memory of loved ones alive in our article on 20 tattoos with tragic backgrounds.
6.) clothes for boys
In the Victorian era, dresses were not just for girls and women. Until they were 4 or 5 years old, boys also wore clothes. By the way, the boy in the picture is holding a contemporary baby bottle. These bottles were sold under names such as “Mama’s Favorite”, but were later given the nickname “Death Bottles” for a reason, as their unfavorable construction and poor hygiene caused deadly germs to accumulate, which led to numerous deaths.
7.) Underwear with holes
When women wear underwear with holes these days, it’s usually simply because the ravages of time have gnawed the laundry, but the owner is too lazy or too economical to sort it out. And then of course there is also the so-called “crotchless lingerie”, which has holes in strategically important places for reasons of sexual stimulation. The Victorian underwear with holes, on the other hand, was simply designed so that the wearer could get her business done as quickly as possible despite all the skirts she was wearing.
The crinoline, a hoop skirt made of steel ribbons, horsehair or other materials, is one of the life-threatening fads for the wearer. Because with a circumference of up to eight meters, the woman was extremely restricted in her mobility and was constantly in danger of getting trapped or knocking something over. Quite a few women went up in flames in this portable cage after bumping into a lamp or candle.
9.) Mourning clothes
The theme of mourning played a special role in Victorian fashion – there were even wedding dresses in black. The reasons for this are, on the one hand, to be found in the living conditions of the people and in the low life expectancy. Someone had just passed away. On the other hand, the English regent, Queen Victoria, has her share in it. After all, she wore mourning clothes for 40 years after her husband passed away. Many people took this as an example.
As you can see, the Victorian era was rich in absurd fads, some of which (in a modified form) have even persisted into the present day. You can find current fashion trends, which are not so dangerous, but particularly hideous, in our article on 20 fashion sins. And here you can read about some of the crazy ideas that were used to envision the future. For the very brave, there is also the article about terrifying medical trends of the past.
Sources: mirror, brightside
Thumbnail: © Wikipedia / public domain