Again the Mid Victorian Period is from the late 1850s to the 1880s. In this segment we are going to talk about the years of 1866 to 1880. By the 1870s the bustle was being worn towards the back of the dress. Elaborate petticoats with pleats, folds and tiers were needed to make the skirt look as full as possible. With heavy draping and tape being used to hold the top layer and bustle into place. Wow could you only imagine the weight of the garment with no air conditioning!
Day dresses also were such dresses as walking dresses. These dresses had high necklines that were either closed, squared, or V-shaped. Sleeves of day dresses were narrow throughout the period, with a tendency to flare slightly at the wrist early on. Women often draped over skirts to produce an apron like effect from the front.
Evening dresses had low necklines and very short, off-the-shoulder sleeves, and were worn with short (later mid-length) gloves. Other characteristic fashions included a velvet ribbon tied high around the neck and trailing behind for evening (the origin of the modern choker necklace).
Anti-fashionist and non-supporters of such fashion like the bustle preferred what is commonly known as the tea dress.
Leisure dress was becoming an important part of a women's wardrobe. Seaside dress in England had its own distinct characteristics but still followed the regular fashions of the day. Seaside dress was seen as more daring, frivolous, eccentric, and brighter. Even though the bustle was extremely cumbersome, it was still a part of seaside fashion.
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Hair was pulled back at the sides and worn in a high knot or cluster of ringlets, often with a fringe (bangs) over the forehead. False hair was commonly used. Bonnets were smaller to allow for the elaborately piled hairstyles and resembled hats except for their ribbons tied under the chin. Smallish hats, some with veils, were perched on top of the head, and brimmed straw hats were worn for outdoor wear in summer.
photos courtesy of www.cwrl.utexas.edu
some text and most information from www.wikipedia.com