A Victorian Lady's Guide to Fashion and Beauty

A Victorian Lady's Guide to Fashion and Beauty

A Victorian Lady's Guide to Fashion and Beauty


“Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated … indispensable to anyone interested in the era. ” —Tasha Alexander, New York Times–bestselling author of the Lady Emily series

What did a Victorian lady wear for a walk in the park? How did she style her hair for an evening at the theatre? And what products might she have used to soothe a sunburn or treat an unsightly blemish? USA Today-bestselling author Mimi Matthews answers these questions and more as she takes readers on a decade-by-decade journey through Victorian fashion and beauty history.

Women’s clothing changed dramatically during the course of the Victorian era. Necklines rose, waistlines dropped, and Gothic severity gave way to flounces and frills. Sleeves ballooned up and skirts billowed out. The crinoline morphed into the bustle and steam-molded corsets cinched women’s waists ever tighter. As fashion evolved, so too did trends in ladies’ hair care and cosmetics. An era which began by prizing natural, barefaced beauty ended with women purchasing lip and cheek rouge, false hairpieces and pomades, and fashionable perfumes.

Using research from nineteenth-century beauty books, fashion magazines, and lady’s journals, the author of the Parish Orphans of Devon series brings Victorian fashion into modern day focus—and offers a glimpse of the social issues that influenced women’s clothing and the outrage that was a frequent response to those bold females who used fashion and beauty to assert their individuality and independence.

“An elegant resource that I will be reaching for again and again. ”—Deanna Raybourn, New York Times-bestselling author of the Veronica Speedwell novels


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