In the 1830s in Europe, women wore rather interesting dresses. The silhouette of these gowns was unusual and differed from the costumes used in the previous period. Let’s find out what kind of silhouette was fashionable. Also, we’ll talk about the corset of the 1830s, sleeve supports, and cute accessories. Have you ever wondered what women of the mid-19th century wore for periods? That’s another question that we’re going to answer in this article.
Late Romantic era (the 1820s and 1830s) is famous for its peculiar silhouette. Huge shoulders, narrow waist, and shorter, bell-shaped skirts were all the rage. Hair could be quite bonkers, too. Let us see how to achieve that silhouette and what is hiding underneath all that fabric.
As always, we are staring with a plain chemise – cotton or linen.
Stockings next. They could be quite elaborate affairs, clocked, embroidered and in many colors – skirts were shorter, so they were often seen.
Stockings could be made in wool, cotton, or silk. The choice depended on the occasion and the season.
Pantaloons next. Long open drawers, preserving modesty just in case the short skirt allowed for a bit more than a glimpse of an ankle.
For her time of the month, a woman would wear a cloth pad (rag) on a T-bandage or a cloth (or sponge) tampon.
Shoes next. A variety of styles were used, mostly flats, often laced. For instance, walking boots.
Time for the corset. The 1830s stays still resemble long stays of the 20s, but they are slowly starting to change. These are corded, with a wooden busk.
It helps if you have a maid to lace you up from completely open, but not necessary if your lace is long enough.
The invention of the split busk (1829, slot and stud closure patented in 1848) made life considerably easier for the Victorians.
Corset example from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This one is with fan lacing – more user-friendly.
Detail of the reproduction – the corset is made in two layers of cotton denim, corded with cotton cord.
Back detail – the eyelets are still hand stitched, though the metal eyelets are starting to appear in the 30s.
A corded petticoat gives shape to the skirts.
Plain petticoat on – to smooth the edges. In winter, a warmer, quilted or flannel one, would be worn.
Now, the hair. False curls and hairpieces were very common. You can always curl your own hair too, but it is easier to have a range of suitable side curls, extensions, braids, etc. available.
Time for the frock. And a little secret to big biceps.
Sleeve supports could be attached to corset straps too – sometimes, it can be more practical to put them in the sleeve first.
A day gown in shot silk taffeta, with gigot sleeves. It is lined with light but stiff cotton organdy to give the skirts a bit more oomph.
It closes at the back with hooks and eyelets – help will be needed.
A plain gown like this could be accessorized with different items. Belt first.
A selection of chemisettes, collars, and pelerines would make the gown more interesting on different days.
The pelerine is attached and should really be pinned on the shoulders, too.
A lace cap was a must for a married woman or a spinster – plus it looks really sweet.
Hats for going out – straw for summer, silk for autumn.
And depending on the weather, a warm shawl or a cape could be used.
Close up of the attire.
Evening and ball wear would require far more elaborate hairstyles and decoration.
And different accessories – long gloves and a reticule.