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Victorian Shoes for your Next Formal Event

The entrance of Victorian style shoes

 

The Victorian era had it’s day through the 1830s to the 1900s, approximately. During this time women’s footwear went through a lot of style changes. One of the most interesting turn of events was in the early 1900s when shoes for women actually came in a left and a right shoe, as opposed to being interchangeable. This obviously added more comfort. A woman’s social standing was very much linked to her shoes. If you had many pairs of shoes, it meant you had more money, and therefore had a higher social standing. Although boots became cheaper due to mass production, those who lived in poverty could still not afford a nice pair. The purpose of a Victorian lady’s boot needed to make the feet appear small, hence the very tight fitting appearance. The more intricate the design, the better. Boots always had a heel, and the toe was formed in a point or a square. Ladies of this period wanted their feet to appear smooth, dainty, and luxurious.

 

The Victorian shoe comeback

 

Even though the Victorian era has since passed, the love of the Victorian shoe has not. Especially the boots. These days, you can get Victorian style ankle boots, button up boots, granny boots with the extreme pointed toe, and many different variations on the lace up pirate boot. All of these styles are inspired by the Victorian era. There is also the lace-up pointed toe pump, which is a popular seller. There is a fashion movement called Steampunk, which is a trend combining Victorian fashion with science fiction or fantasy to create more edgy look. Accessories that highlight the steam-powered machinery from the 1900s is often the element that makes Steampunk unique. The Victorian shoe is a staple of steampunk, and sometimes the shoes are embellished with a Steampunk flair such as buckles, satin laces, skull charms, or even chrome heels.

 

The Victorian style today

 

Victorian style shoes today can be found on several online shopping sites as well as many stores. There is an abundance of ways you can incorporate this type of shoe either to a modern style formal outfit or perhaps a more vintage look. If you’re going vintage in your clothing, then you’ll need to stick to anything lace, high-necked, and tight fitting, but without showing a lot of skin. Skirts always go below the knee, and fabrics are thick, such as velvet and polyester. Peasant blouses, or corsets add that vintage appeal as well. If you really want to go all out, try some petticoats, bustles, or ruffles. Victorian style shoes these days come in a wide variety of colors and styles, so you can easily pair a simple, long, cocktail dress with a pair of Victorian style ankle boots or pumps. The shoes can come in a variety of fabrics such as leather, velvet, and calfskin just to name a few. The trick is to keep your formal wardrobe sleek and not overly revealing. Wearing clothes that are Gothic or steampunk in style are excellent ways to show off some button up Victorian era boots or pumps. There are so many different styles of the Victorian shoe out there right now, and some pretty wild variations are being made everyday, so finding the perfect shoe for your event should be an adventure through history and beyond.

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Movies That Best Depict The Victorian Era

An Incredible Time

There are a large number of movies styled after the beautiful Victorian Era. This was the period of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 until her death in 1901. It was an incredible time of peace, prosperity, as well as confidence for Britain. The arts, philosophy, and even science thrived during this time. Writers were able to weave their stories and the best of them became movies set in this pristine era. They give us insight into life from this period.

 

Great Films

As mentioned earlier, there are a large number of movies that depict the Victorian Era. We will explore ten of them that stand out and give us a glimpse into this inviting period of time.

 

“The Four Feathers” directed by Shekhar Kapur is about a disgraced British Officer’s efforts to redeem himself after leaving the Army at the beginning of a Sudan war. Subsequently, he receives four white feathers from his friends and fiancee as symbols of his cowardice. Kate Hudson starred in this version of A.E.W. Mason’s novel.

 

Set during the the mid-19th century, “Wuthering Heights” is a story of romance. A poor boy is rescued from poverty and taken in by a family where he develops a relationship with his foster sister. It is a classic novel by Emily Bronte.

 

Michael Crighton directed this adaptation of a master criminal that plots to rob a train filled with gold. “The Great Train Robbery” starred Sean Connery and Lesley Anne Down. Two films about Sherlock Holmes come to mind when thinking about the Victorian Era – “Without a Clue” and “Sherlock Holmes”. They both are adventurous tales of murder and mystery.

 

A British naturalist marries an aristocrat in “Angels and Insects”. It is a surprising story based on a novella by A.S. Byatt. “Stardust” is based on a fantasy novel set during 19th century England. Also set during this time is “Royal Flash”. The story focuses on a literary anti-hero.

 

Christopher Nolan directed actors Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman in a story about two rival magicians that are each planning the ultimate stage illusion in “The Prestige”. Oscar Wilde directed “An Ideal Husband” which is a story about blackmail and political corruption in high society.

 

One of the most popular stories that depict the Victorian Era is “Phantom of the Opera”. Deformed at birth, a bitter man hides out beneath a Paris opera house. He falls in love with a chorus singer, Christine, and privately tutors her while terrorizing the rest of the opera house. The masked Phantom demands that Christine be given lead roles. Instead, she falls in love with an arts benefactor and Phantom enacts a plan to keep her by his side.

 

See Another Side

The common perception of the Victorian Era is that the people were hypocritical and stuffy. Many movie writers are trying to show another side to this perception. The Victorian period was very long and there are so many movies that provide us with a gamut of wonderful stories. Explore another side of the Victorian Era by watching these and other movies that depict the time.

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History of the Victorian Corset

Corsets and Crinolines, Icons of the Victorian Era

When conjuring up images of the Victorian era, one of the first that comes to mind is of the lady with the tightly cinched waist and huge crinoline skirt. This iconic representation of the 19th century female has its origins in a much earlier time, however the corset truly experienced the height of its popularity in the Victorian age. Here we explore the history of corsetry and discover how it changed and developed with the fashion trends of the 1800s.

The Development of the Corset

Corsets have appeared as part of a woman’s costume from around 1300, taking its name from the French word for laced bodice. For centuries, this type of garment was commonly referred to as stays, although it resembled the corset that eventually reached the peak of its popularity in the 19th century.

This style of undergarment began its life in Italy before becoming popular in France during the 16th century after Catherine de Medici introduced the trend. Early corsets were designed to emphasise and push up the breasts rather than pull in the waist, and the fashion in the 1600s was to use a long line corset that would create a cone shape with a flattened front. Corsets were made from many materials including iron which must have been extremely painful and restrictive, although stiff multi-layered fabric appears to have been the most common choice.

Eventually, a busk was added to the front. This was a piece of horn or whalebone temporarily fixed to the corset to maintain its stiff appearance. Busks remained a feature of the corset’s structure through the Victorian era, although by that time, the busk was made in two parts where the fasteners were located, and were made from metal rather than bone.

The corset increased steadily in popularity from the Elizabethan period onwards, with only a few brief lapses in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

The 18th century corset was surprisingly comfortable and non-restrictive. It actually improved posture by forcing the wearer to stand upright with the shoulders back, and helped to strengthen the back. The boning was not as severe as in later corsets and only slightly narrowed the waist.

During the Regency period, when dresses became looser, the corset became temporarily much shorter, more like a modern bra, but as the fashions changed, they gradually lengthened again to the waist and even beyond.

By 1830, the hourglass shape had become in vogue, and with the wide padded shoulders and large skirts, waists appeared very narrow, even without severe lacing. However once the fashion for large shoulders had waned, corsets had to be laced more tightly to achieve the same look. It was at this time that machine made corsets began to be commercially produced rather than home made.

By the mid 19th century, steel spiral corsets had become the standard to accommodate the very tight lacing that was required to get the narrow hourglass look popular at the time. This led to health concerns, especially for pregnant women, which prompted a call for rational dress. By the 1880s, health corsets had been developed which allowed for greater freedom of movement as they were made from less restrictive materials such as leather and wool. This enabled women to enjoy the many physical pastimes that were emerging at that time including cycling.

The Demise of the Corset

The corset finally fell from favour by 1908 and women gradually regained their freedom of movement. Although corsets are still sometimes worn today, they are now a novelty or fashion accessory rather than a key underwear item. Nevertheless, the corset maintains a certain level of fascination for the Victorian era enthusiast and will always have a special place in the history of fashion.

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