Women's fashion of the 19th century is renowned for its corsets, big sleeves, small waists, bustles and petticoats. Ladies fashion during the Victorian period was largely dominated by full skirts, which gradually moved to the back of the silhouette, high necklines and leg of mutton sleeves and a general sense of restrictiveness.
Towards the end of the period, the less restrictive Aesthetic style began to emerge which cast off the stiffly tailored garments to embrace softer more comfortable clothing influenced by medieval fashions. For example instead of stiff bodices dresses were long & flowing made from soft pleats and folds, dyed with natural vegetable dyes and often featuring a small train. Sleeves were often set at the natural shoulder and puffed gathered along the arm opposed to the Victorian's love of a dropped shoulder. Whilst the Victorian's and Mid 19th century fashion loved heavy embellishment, trims, ruffled or braided decoration the Aesthetic fashion movement sparsely embellished their fashion, when they did they took inspiration from nature with the Lily and Sunflower were repeated motifs of the movements.
Weather you love the naturalness of the Aesthetic movement or the decadences of the Victorian era in fashion each and the fashion through out the 19th century was beautifully made, event Victorian nightgowns & workwear often feature incredible embroidered details and of course a statement sleeve. Victorian England was a hive of industry, design, creativity and still influences every form of design in modern day England and the world today. Owning a wearable piece of antique fashion is literally owning a piece of wearable history! How cool!