When I selected a time period for my book, right or wrong, I picked a time when dresses had the Victorian look, but women had not yet started to wear corsets. It was a time just before Queen Victoria’s reign. Somewhere around the middle to the end of the 19th century was when women began to wear the big hoops under their dresses like you see in “Gone With the Wind”.
In the first chapter of my book (which you are welcome to read here on my blog), my heroine, Cynthia, wear’s a late Regency dress. I won’t tell you why because I don’t want to spoil the fun of who the dress once belonged to. To get an idea of what she was wearing compared to what all the other ladies were wearing I’ve put together a chart.
|Filmy, gauzy material||Heavy material|
|Usually made of muslin||Usually made of velvet or silk|
|High waistline||Waistline at waist|
|Bolder ladies dampened their chemises underneath||As many as 6 petticoats and a corset|
As I’ve mentioned before, ball dresses were white, but did you know that most wedding dresses were not white? That tradition hadn’t started yet. I’m not sure when it started. I’m sure you can imagine why ladies didn’t wear white dresses. After a year or two of going to balls and having to wear white gowns, I suppose a different color was refreshing.
With the Victorian dress, there would have been an elaborate necklace. Women word their hair up and decorated with a hat often times with a long feather or two sticking out.
Of course, I’m not an expert on what was fashionable for the Regency lady or the Victorian lady. If you know something of interest, leave a comment and tell us. 🙂
Which do you prefer? Regency or Victorian? Why?