Getting Dressed in the 1830s


The 1830s shift, or chemise, was made in linen
or more usually cotton. The neckline was wide, and the sleeves short
to accommodate the latest fashions. Under-drawers were still not commonly worn,
but when the were they were of the open-leg sort, made from cotton, and fastened at the
back waist with laces or buttons. The finest stockings were made of silk and
had a decorative detail at the ankle to conceal the seam-join; this embroidered feature was
called �clocks�. Ribbon garters were tied beneath the knee
to hold the stockings in place and to ensure a smoothly contoured ankle. The stays were made from a stiff cotton fabric,
shaped by means of gores inserted at the bust and hips. They were stiffened and decorated with cording
and had a wood or metal busk at the centre-front, though some had a buttoned front opening for
ease of dressing. The stays were laced down the back to fit
and finished with hand-worked or metal eyelets. To protect the hand-worked eyelets from wear,
a tape might be wound through the eyelets down each side. To give the desired bell-shape of the skirts,
and to balance the wide sleeves, many petticoats were worn. Some would be starched and stiffened with
cording, which could extend from the hem up to hip-level. Full length petticoats were also worn, especially
over front-buttoning stays, in order to smooth the outline. A small three-flounced, ruffled bustle would
be added for a little extra lift at the back. The large fashionable ‘leg-of-mutton’ or ‘gigot’
sleeves required support to maintain the puff. This was achieved by adding down-filled, cotton
sleeve-puffs or plumpers, into the sleeve-head by pushing them through the armhole and tying
them into place. The waist was slightly above the natural waist,
and was either straight or finished with a slight point �a la Marie Stewart�. This gown has a wide pelerine collar attached,
but separate pelerine collars were also worn, often made from lace. The gowns were usually fastened at the back
by concealed hooks and eyes. Wide ribbon belts with ornate buckles at the
centre front completed the look. Shoes were usually flat with a squared toe
and were often tied with ribbons Jewellery, including earrings and necklaces,
suited the wide neckline. For a typical 1830s hairstyle, the sides of
the hair would be curled into ringlets while the back of the hair pulled up in to curls,
loops or braids. Hairstyles were often decorated elaborately
with flowers, ribbons, combs or pearls depending on the occasion. The fashion for absurdly wide puffed sleeves
was short lived. It came to epitomise the era of the reign
of King William IV and queen Adelaide of Great Britain which lasted from 1830 to 1837.

100 thoughts on “Getting Dressed in the 1830s

  1. Everyone is talking about the giant sleeves but what about the 1700s royal fashion in spain and france
    Their hips did not lie

  2. Can you do a regency ball gown dress up next time? Or a jane austen version, just like your mary shelley one ☺️

  3. soooo many layers of clothes!!! the fabric may have been breathable but with all those layers it looks like it would be incredibly hot and constrictive!!

  4. This dress looks like one from the little mermaid Ariel get married in. Also the pink ball gown she wears is nearly the same.

  5. And I complain that it's too hot now… Dang I don't know who these women survived doing anything in all those clothes

  6. Amazing series. Thank you for sharing.
    However, it seems like all the videos are about middle or upper class. What were those workers wearing at that time, how can they move when working? How it related to the works that only women did at that time. It would be amazing to have a series dedicated to the lower class. Also to clarify which class is talked in this video.

  7. Are these sleeves comfortable to wear and who helped the maids get dressed ? . I love the petticoats and stays and the dress is so pretty

  8. I miss the simplicity of the Regency. Things got so ugly afterwards. Like those comically large, puffy sleeves.
    Good video, though!

  9. How long did it take to be able to pee? God it must be awful for pregnant ladies or someone with a small bladder.

  10. I just got done watching a marathon of Jane Austen movies – do you guys have plans for regency dress? It’s such a short period but marks a huge anomaly in fashion for the times!

  11. I’m so glad times have changed… This seems to have been the life of an upper class wealthy woman not an everyday average woman… Like I said I’m so glad times have changed & everyone pretty much dresses themselves without requiring help from someone else to even put shoes & jewelry on 🙄😒 I mean it’d be nice to get pampered every once In a while but everyday like this, damn that’s taking laziness to a whole another level.

  12. Good God! Not exactly anything you could call 'ready to wear' is it? No wonder women were demure, quiet and reserved in the early 19th century. Chrikey! They were stupefied into silence by all the hoops, clips, poofy sleeves, tied up, laced up layers of clothing it took hours to get into. In order to go downstairs for the morning gnosh those poor ladies had to get up at the butt crack of dawn (3:30 a.m.) in order to be ready to descend by 8:00 a.m. Very romantic look no doubt; equally ridiculous and boring to do. Jesus, I love watching these videos! Thanks ever so for doing them. Very interesting to watch and very well filmed/produced. Condragulations darlings! 😉👍

  13. All I can think of is my fashion history professor laughing uncontrollably as she introduced this era because everyone looked so disgusted by the silhouette. Very well done video as always though!

  14. I loved this video so much 😍 can anyone tell me what is the name of the background music? Thank you in advance 😊🌸

  15. Love these videos , it was a very feminine way of dressing for wealthy women , all natural fibres in the fabrics no synthetics then

  16. I would love to know who woke up one day and was like “hmm yess the feathers of 6 geese to fill the sleeves seems appropriate.” 😂🤣

  17. how about getting underdressed from all these fancy layers and their nightwear; taking out hair and taking off makeup! that would be super interesting

  18. Man… 10 layers is cool and all but I'm glad we live in a time when waking up changing your shirt and walking out the door is acceptable

  19. @ anyone saying it must’ve taken hours when the video is 6 minutes long and obviously at a slower pace than normal: 🤡

  20. Not gunna lie, i wish everyone dressed like aristocrats still. Something about wearing beautiful clothing makes me feel strong and pretty. People can wear whatever they want tho idc

  21. This reminds me very much of Anne of Green Gables (2008 version) when she goes to the ball and raves about her puffed sleeves!

  22. Thankyou for another vid which blows out of the water the notion that ALL women, of ALL periods between the Middle Ages and the 1920s were jemmied into asphyxiating corsets….!

  23. I look forward to these so much!! They are historically accurate and the cinematography and production is exquisite plus the narrator and music is very calming to me. All around aesthetically pleasing experience for ears eyes and soul.

  24. Could you please ever do Laura ingalls wilder circa 1880s when she was in her late teens and 20s American pioneer style but formal wear

  25. Manager: Hey, you’re late for work. Are you coming?
    1830’s Me: Yes I’m getting ready now, then I’ll be there.
    5 hours later….
    1830’s Me: Sorry I’m late.
    Manager: That’s alright. See you tomorrow.

  26. Just imagine tripping back that and landing on your back, and then having to get up with all those layers.😂

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