The women’s fashion had undergone radical changes during the Victorian period. However, it was during the later years that the drastic changes were brought about in fashion and design of the Victorian women.
By 1860, the skirts were flat at the front as compared to the bell-shaped skirts worn by the early Victorian women. The day dresses had pagoda sleeves and a high neckline. These necklines either had a lace or tatted collar on them. However, for the evening wear, the gowns had low neckline and short sleeves along with appropriate gloves. Somewhere in 1870, tea-gowns were introduced for casual get-togethers at home.
By 1867 Crinoline was replaced by Bustlesto hold the skirts up. The invention of sewing machine in the late 18th century enabled the women to wear sewn clothes. The use of machine brought about a lot of change in the clothing fashion. Jacket and skirts which matched the hunting outfit were worn in 1880s. The shirt was high collared and the top-hat had a veil.
By 1887, the sleeves of the dresses had become slimmer and close fitting. The women’s gowns during the 1880s were primarily made in two colors material namely, deep red, peacock blue, royal blue, purple, etc. These colors were either used alone or in combination or in tartan fabrics. During the 1890s the women’s fashion was simple as compared to the earlier years.
Women did not use bustles and crinoline and the dresses were no longer tight fitted.Corsets were longer giving the women a slight S-curve silhouette. Skirts worn were closely fitted over the hip and flared just above the knees. Late Victorian women preferred high necks and puffed sleeves. Also sportswear like bicycling dress, tennis dress were worn by women.
The sleeves changed from slim to leg o mutton sleeves at the end of Victorian times. By 1895 the sleeves were very puffed like those worn by women in 1833. The late Victorian women wore sharper tailored jackets which gave them an altogether different posture and confidence.