Victorian Era Female Costume Guide: How to Nail the Perfect Victorian Look

You are welcome to dress as a Victorian—as simply or elaborately as you choose—to participate in our events or to sit back and enjoy the spectacle as the town is transported back to yesteryear.

Don the old-fashioned elegance and flair as you strut the streets of Ilfracombe with these Victorian costume tips:

Traditional Victorian dress

The combination of blouse and skirt was the simplest and the fashion norm for Victorian ladies. For the blouse, wear an ivory or white lace top. Go for a long-sleeved back buttoned blouse with a high, round collar, as this is the traditional top worn during the time. It would be perfect if you can find that blouse with pin tuck pleats, lace trim, or inset lace.

Next, choose your skirt. Look for a four or six-panel A-line skirt in thrift stores. To add volume at the bottom of your skirt, you will need a petticoat. You can wear three more lightweight Bohemian-style skirts underneath your outer skirt to add more volume. Tulle netting ruffles works, too.

Wearing a belt is optional, but it would be better if you use one. The ideal belt to use is made of either fabric or leather in 2 to 6 inches wide.

Victorian accessories

Now, it is time to add an interesting element to your Victorian costume. Turn it from simple to sophisticated and elegant with the following accessories:

  • Hat – It can be either big straw brim hats with flowers and feathers or small straw plate-shaped ones that are bent or curved.
  • Necklace – Pearls with a pendant or a Y-shaped necklace is your best bet. Wear matching earrings and other jewelry items to achieve the affluent Victorian look.
  • Parasol – You will be thankful if you have this one when you join the festivities in the Ilfracombe Victorian Celebration. Use a lace parasol for that dainty, ladylike vibe that is truly Victorian.
  • Shoes – Wear brown or black lace-up boots.

Pulling off a Victorian look is not exactly as difficult as it seems. All you need is a bit of creativity and knowledge of where to buy your needed outfits.