Tips for Victorian style dressing

Unfortunately due to poor attendance the last few years, the Northville Historical Society will no longer be hosting our annual Victorian Clothing Sale.  There are limited items available in our JM Mead Store, located at Mill Race Village. The store is open on Sundays from 1-4 pm through Oct. 6. Please visit the store to see what items are available.


However, there’s no need to stress about gathering an appropriate wardrobe for your Victorian Era festivities. Here are some helpful tips.

WOMEN AND GIRLS

Blouses - Lacy, ruffled blouses paired with dark skirts (also, Google “Gibson Girl”).

  • Look for a high-necked blouse in white, ivory, a solid color or a small calico print. Add a cameo or other pin at the neck.

  • Find a menswear (Oxford) style blouse with a collar. Add a necktie for a tailored look and add a vest.

  • Fabric stores carry wide lace that can be gathered into a ribbon (no sewing necessary). Use about a yard of lace gathered into a ribbon to dress up the neck of a plain blouse or white turtleneck.

  • Check out the Salvation Army or other thrift stores.


Other accessories:

  • Vests, shawls, scarves that can double as shawls, blazers with velvet collars, peplum style jackets, mid-calf or longer skirts in A line, or Jewelry by 1928.

  • Western wear, prairie skirts (a fad in the 1980’s), grandma’s old church gloves, grandma’s old hats as a basic frame to be decorated, old gardening hats, or a basic straw hat from Joann’s or Michael’s.

  • Cotton schoolgirl dresses for little girls in calico prints, stripes, or even plaids. Look for ones that feature pinafore, dropped waist, or long full sleeves. (Check out consignment shops like “Baby Baby” on Main Street or “Consignment Clothiers” in Highland Lakes Shopping Center.)



MEN AND BOYS

Shirts—Striped shirts with contrasting white collar and cuffs, banded collar shirts or long-sleeved shirts with pointed collar removed to look like a banded collar shirt, add a bow-tie or a grosgrain ribbon tie.

Pants – Any dark pants will do especially if they have cuffs and/or pleats.

Shoes – Oxfords that tie, brown saddle type shoes, or boots.

Other items

  • Vests, suspenders, argyle sweaters. Bulky cardigan sweaters with shawl collar.

  • Golf knickers or cut off a pair of pants and put elastic in the bottom to create knickers (wear argyle socks with these).

  • A driver’s cap – those flat corduroy hats your grandpa wears or straw boaters.

  • Three piece pin striped suits with bow tie and straw hat or seersucker jacket with white pants and a bow tie (think barber shop quartet).



187 views

The Northville Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer organization responsible for the financing and operation of Mill Race Village and preservation of the Northville Archives.

©2020 BY MILL RACE VILLAGE, NORTHVILLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

(248) 348-1845

215 Griswold St

Northville MI 48167