Finally, the lady dons her Victorian dress, pictured here in with a "fan front" bodice with capped close-fitting long sleeves and a cartridge pleated, three flounced skirt. The properly attired Victorian lady is never seen in public without bonnet and gloves. [
While a groom wears a tuxedo with a long waistcoat, a hat and gloves, a bride has a wider selection of Victorian dresses models. A universal Victorian style wedding dress pattern goes like this: a silhouette of a classical Queen Victoria’s dress is a slim top made even smaller with a corset, a puffy dress embellished with floral elements and lace and off-the-shoulder sleeves. However, depending on the choice of fabric and a peculiar fashion style one can single out such wedding dress patterns as civil-war style, early Victorian, late Victorian and floral style.
The trend for broad skirts slowly disappeared during the 1870s, as women started to prefer an even slimmer silhouette. Bodices remained at the natural waistline, necklines varied, while sleeves began under the shoulder line. An was commonly worn over the bodice, and secured into a large bow behind. Over time though, the overskirt shortened into a detached , resulting in an elongation of the bodice over the hips. As the bodices grew longer in 1873, the was thus introduced into the Victorian dress styles. A polonaise is a garment featuring both an overskirt and bodice together. The was also introduced, and along with the polonaise, it created an illusion of an exaggerated rear end.
The exaggerated structure of certain Victorian dress elements was part of an effort by designers to emphasise the popular silhouette of the moment. Millinery was incorporated into this design strategy. During the early Victorian decades, voluminous skirts held up with , and then , were the focal point of the silhouette. To enhance the style without distracting from it, hats were modest in size and design, straw and fabric bonnets being the popular choice. , which had been worn during the late , had high, small crowns and brims that grew larger until the 1830s, when the face of a woman wearing a poke bonnet could only be seen directly from the front. They had rounded brims, echoing the rounded form of the bell-shaped hoop skirts.
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