I have learned a little something about clothing style recently.  At least, about Victorian clothing style, what it is, and, by definition, what it is not.  Let me explain.  Alex has decided to have a Victorian Era Theme Party for his 17th birthday party next month.  We will have Victorian Era food and Parlour Games, and everyone is encouraged to dress the part.

Victorian Clothing ca 1874

Victorian Clothing ca 1874

Well, this may come as a surprise, but I simply don’t have any Victorian-style clothing in my closet!  I do, however, have one very nice British Overcoat, a la ‘Captain Hook’, and one Gypsy dress.  But not a thing that would pass muster with Queen Victoria.  I had an idea, I thought, of what Victorian clothing looked like, but upon consulting Wikipedia, I discovered that what I was actually thinking of was Edwardian.  I was picturing things from movies like Mary Poppins, or Titanic.  Nope.  I was wrong.

The Victorian Era is generally agreed to have lasted during the reign of Queen Victoria, from June 1837 until January 1901.  So, basically, in our country, at least in terms of fashion, think: Civil War and Wild West!  As an interesting side note: I saw on the History Channel some time ago that there were more patents taken out for sexual devices during the Victorian Era than at any other time in history.  Don’t get excited.  They were for devices that would prevent sexual activity, not enhance or encourage!

Incidentally, the Edwardian Era barely lasted a decade, spanning the time from Victoria’s death in 1901 to the death of King Edward VII in 1910.

I am looking forward to Alex’s party.  I do hope that everyone is able to dress up for it.  Most of his friends are into Drama and acting, so I think they will be very much into playing ‘dress up’ and participating in the Parlour Games. 🙂

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