Thursday, July 24, 2008

Appropriation, by any other name

Stephanie's post on Edwardian and Victorian styles inspired me to attempt to put together an inexpensive outfit that could, hopefully, evoke that era, without looking like you escaped from one of those goth cons where they wear cheap acetate corsets and spiderweb skirts.

Obviously, something made inexpensively won't have the rigorous construction of Victorian clothes, but when you don't have to take off five layers of petticoats and chemises and bloomers just to use the bathroom, you will be grateful for that. Charlotte Russe corset. I know, it's ugly and cheap-looking, but you should barely be able to see it by the time we're finished. The point is, it's a solid colour and it should give you a slightly more nipped-in shape at the waist. Plus, it's fifteen bucks!

Vintage clothing from that era is notoriously difficult to find in good condition. Your best bet is not vintage stores, but antique stores. If you do happen to spot one without a lot of damage, buy! It will likely be a little pricey (upwards of a hundred dollars) but the details will be well worth it. The lawn blouse above is $75.00. If not, I would be willing to bet that you have one of those high-necked lace blouses that were all the rage a while back still lurking in your closet. But don't button it all the way up! It's uncomfortable and you'll look like a school marm.
The exaggerated hourglass shape is essential to the victorian look. This wide belt will cinch you in and is a steal at $8.80. Forever 21.

A long skirt isn't necessary if all that extra fabric leaves you feeling bogged down. This pencil skirt is $22.80 from forever 21.







Pair boots with traditional details like buttons or laces with thick tights.




Victorians had the best coats! Once again, I recommend going vintage if at all possible. This men's frock coat is currently on ebay.

All this having been said, if you do have some cash to splash out and are seriously jonesing for a Carine Roitlfeld by way of the Industrial Revolution vibe, I suggest checking out vintagetextile.com or woodlandfarmsantiques.com for some amazing mint condition finds. There's even the ocassional bargain.
If you have the balls for it, something like this mourning dress for $95.00 would make a very dramatic statement.

2 comments:

CoutureCarrie said...

Gorgeous look! I loooooove corsets, and the belt and boots you have selected here are fantastic!

Claire said...

Fantastic look! Victorian style is so inspiring, I especially love the boots, and the ruffle blouse.