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Weird and wacky costumes early-mid Victorian

October 10, 2009

The clothing worn by the ladies of my favourite era never ceases to amaze me – it seems uncomfortable, impractical, and ridiculous. These women made shopping into a year-long occupation, even more so than many modern day shoppers.
Not to mention how long it took to get dressed and undressed, several times a day!  
The poke bonnet owes its origins to France, or rather, Paris, which dictated fashions to the civilised world. In 1825, this bonnet was made more remarkable by the general scantiness of attire and the puffed sleeves that accompanied it.
In 1830, the so-called neglige bonnet was worn with a ruff about the neck, the bodice of the dress fastened at the back, a reticule hung  from the long overhanging sleeves on to the untrimmed skirt which opened in front.
In 1851, birds of paradise crowned th every prominent head-gear, and English- women showed how ill-arranged a shawl could be.
In 1862, the  ungraceful ugliness of hoops was seen when they were worn with the spoon bonnets and looped skirts.
In 1878, the scant drapery borrowed ideas of costume from other periods, for this hat is Tudor in origin, also the ruff. The zebra braided jacket and long skirt, neither draped nor flowing, the square shoulders and tight long sleeves combines ideas from other eras.

Suzi Love

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