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Fashion in the 1860s

Fashion in the 1860s: 1860s England was an era when clothing styles were experimented with.

Women’s Dresses in the 1860s

During the 1860s, the crinolines or the hoop-shaped structure which made the skirt stand out which will make the waist look even smaller.

Fashion in the 1860s
Fashion in the 1860s

The crinoline was not becoming flattered in the front and did not change in the back. This made a train of the skirt which was the fashion then.

Types of Outfits 

When it came to clothes, there were different outfits for different occasions. The upper-class ladies and the aristocracy were the ones who could afford so many outfits. During the summer, the dresses were made of silk and were of soft shades.

The silk along with the light linen inner garments made it very comfortable for women to wear during the hot months.

1860 Dresses and Gowns

In the winter, the women wore deeper colors and they’re overcoats were fur lined. The morning dresses were made of poplin, flannel, a type of Russian velvet called Velour Russe. 

While going to parties, women enjoyed wearing brightly colored taffetas with big skirts. During this time, along with the change in the crinoline, there were more changes in the clothes. The sleeves became wider and the neckline changed according to the time of the day. During the day, it was high and during the nights they were low-cut.

Changes in Fashion in the 1860s

At the end of the decade, there was a drastic change. The crinoline went out of fashion and replaced with a bustle which was similar to a crinoline but was more slimming. Hence the volume of the skirts decreased.

Fashion in the 1860s Garibaldi Shirt
Garibaldi Shirt

While the front, had no bows or frills, the back was made into soft folds in order to emphasize it. Another milestone in Europe during this decade was the introduction of the Garibaldi Shirt.

This item of clothing was first introduced by the Empress Eugenie of France who modeled it quite often then. This shirt looked like a shirt that a man of that era would wear. However, it was longer and had more breathing room with extra pleats and frills.

Components of a Traditional Victorian Attire for Women 

A traditional Victorian outfit had many layers under the dress itself. A loose petticoat called a chemise is first worn over a long, very loose undergarment which extends to under the knees. It has a drawstring in the neck.

Over the chemise, the corset is worn. A corset cover is worn over it and then comes the under petticoat. Then there are as many as six under petticoats were worn to give the skirt as much volume as possible.

The hoop shirt was then worn which gave the women room to move. The over petticoat was generally pretty and was made of a soft material and was embroidered and had embellishments.

The last piece of clothing was the dress itself which had long sleeves, a fitted neckline, and a voluminous skirt.

Men’s clothes Fashion in the 1860s

Men during this time generally wore dark-colored three-piece suits, with a collar, vest, and an overcoat. The younger generation of men went for more colors while the older ones had a more conservative approach to dressing.

The men had separate outfits for different occasions, just like the women. They had different outfits for walking, smoking, and a more formal suit for formal occasions.


Hats were a rage then. These headdresses are big and are decorated with feathers of ostriches, pheasants, and bustards. These hats can be made of straw, crinoline, which was often made out of horse hair.

Fashion in the 1860s hats
Fashion in the 1860s – Hats

The hats are then added with bows or fur with respect to the weather. if it is the summer, it is a bow and fur is used for the winter.

For young children, the hats were kept very simple with small bows and decorated with either daisy and small flowers. The men wore bell hats with the brims curves on the sides. They were made of different colors and materials to go with the outfit they were wearing.

Hairstyles Fashion in the 1860s

Hairstyles for Victorian ladies differed according to their age and class they belong to. For a young lady, the hair is slightly waved and tied in the back.

Fashion in the 1860s Hairstyles
Fashion in the 1860s – Hairstyles

The hairstyles are more extravagant with the evening wear. There are more curls and plaits.

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