Late Victorian (1870–1900)

Below are some late-19th century Victorian-era fashions. With little more than a good description and a drawing or picture, we can recreate any period garment for you.

The 1880’s were a decade of fashion extremes.

One of my favorites is the long fitted bodice featured in Manet’s famous painting (left), Bar at Folies-Bergère, which the Lavender’s Green dress (right) is modeled after.

This very fitted bodice should be worn over an hourglass corset and substantial petticoats. A very small “dress improver” might also be worn under the back of the skirt to fill out the drapery of the bustle (although in 1882 skirts were still fairly slim).

1882 & 1897 Dinner/Reception Gowns

When our Ladies’ Tea Guild gathered at the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon, we dressed for the late 19th century. In the photo on the left, Suzannah is wearing an 1882 polonaise ensemble in orchid silk, trimmed in purple velvet and purple striped silk. The pattern is drafted from several sources in my reference library. With it she is wearing a vintage hat. Kelly, on the right, is wearing an 1897 replica gown of silk jacquard. I made the pattern by copying an original wedding dress owned by the French Prairie Historical Society. The dress is trimmed in delicate lace, as was the original.

1890s Dresses

Left, at the 1892 Settlemier House in Woodburn, Oregon, Suzannah is wearing an 1894 visiting costume inspired by a French fashion plate. I am wearing the same basic pattern made up as a walking suit in a wool blend with tapestry ribbon trim. The “walking suit” allowed a lady to take brisk strides and create an imposing appearance.

Left, we are modeling fashions from the turn of the last century in a sunroom at Deepwood Estate in Salem, Oregon. I am wearing my favorite 1910 lingerie dress and summer straw hat, while Kelly is in an 1890s wool sateen circular skirt, a black silk sash, a dotted swiss blouse with sleeve puffs, and a black straw hat trimmed with organza puffs and pink apple blossoms.

We can custom-make many other beautiful styles for you. Please contact us with your ideas!