Sunday, May 9, 2010


This entry will be about the influence of fashion of past times in the English 19th century fashion. The influence of the suits and dresses came from various cultures and different times, but some were used more often like the live colours of the ancient Scottish dresses, the high waist and the straight skirt reminding us of a neoclassical style and voluminous sleeves of the Reneissance. As the decades advanced, fashion took a fancy from one time to another. For example, the typical Greek-roman dress which we have made a reference to was more popular during the first half of the 19th century, on the other hand, during queen Victoria's reign the dresses were interested in following the body's shape and exaggerating it, so in the 60s the blown up skirts from the back and crushed fronts or in the next decade the “princess dresses,” which had the body and the skirt were one whole piece to define the feminine shape.

1. Woman's silk dress with braided stripes. Lined in linen. English, around 1805.


In this specific entry about the 19th century clothing, we will concentrate on the influence of military clothing of the Napoleonic wars in that time's fashion. We can find many cases, in women's and men's fashion, in which the clothes decoration is similar to the military, for example the shape of the stripes, inspired by the style of the light cavalry regiment, they are also called hussars. This style of decoration, based in the traditional Hungarian dress, it characterises for a following of stripes in parallel lines around the chest, known as crow's feet. As for the women's fashion, this decoration was much used in the horse riding clothes because women were becoming more loving of sport, so they were put on the same level as men's clothing to be able to do sport more comfortably. The curved lines around the chest, are a variation of this decoration of parallel bands.

1-. Flannel amazon jacket decorated with a mohair stripe and lined with satin. Messrs Redfern and Co. English, 1885-1886.


At the start of the 19th century, England had become the first country that experimented the industrial revolution and this entailed an increment in the population and the beginning of an industrial and urban society. Many English people immigrated to the United States, but at the same time immigrants were arriving from other countries like Ireland, Russia, etc.

In this century, a major part of society worked in industry. This caused a loss of jobs of the small craftsmen. The factories demanded specially women and children to work so they could pay lower salaries: children worked more than 12 hours. The following years, new laws were created to delete this working system based in child labour and exploitation.