October 6, 2023
Are you ready to transport yourself to the elegance and charm of the Victorian era? The 9th annual Dickens on Centre festival is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect opportunity to embrace the timeless fashion of this bygone era.
Whether you’re a gentleman looking to channel your inner Dickensian character or a lady seeking to capture the grace and style of Victorian women, we’ve got you covered with costume ideas that can be crafted from items you already have in your closet. Check them out here!
Victorian Hats: Top hats, pork pie caps, flat/wide-brimmed hats, or a round top hat with a curved brim will complete your look.
Shirts: A plain white shirt with the collar turned up or adorned with a ribbon, scarf, or cravat tied in a knot at the neck is a quintessential Victorian choice.
Vest: Opt for a brocade or silk vest, with or without a jacket. Long-tailed jackets and even capes are acceptable choices.
Pants: Roll up wool, corduroy, or cotton pants in classic Victorian colors like black, tan, burgundy, or grey. Add a rubber band in the last roll below the knee to give a knickers effect. If you have knickers, that’s even better, but you can also wear long dark socks and pull them up to tuck under your pants.
Accessories: Don’t forget to accessorize with suspenders, a walking stick, cane, or spectacles.
Shoes: Complete your ensemble with black or dark-colored dress shoes.
Victorian Hats: Embrace the Victorian spirit with bonnets or transform a straw or felt hat by adorning it with lace, flowers, feathers, ribbons, and bows. For those wanting a more servant-inspired look, consider mop caps, which were common in the Victorian era.
Hair: Victorian hairstyles were all about curls, buns, and braids. Experiment with these styles to achieve an authentic look.
Dresses: Floor-length dresses made from taffeta, satin, brocade, silk, or similar materials are perfect for creating Victorian-inspired costumes. Add lace and ruffles at the neck and cuffs – you can pin, iron-on, sew, or Velcro lace, ribbons, flowers, or ruffles onto any outfit.
Tops: Plain white or solid-color ladies’ dress shirts adorned with lace, ruffles, ribbons, and flowers will complement your attire. Tie a thin piece of ribbon in a bow and pin or tie it at the neck with a brooch or artificial flower for an extra touch of elegance.
Gloves: Victorian ladies wore lace, crocheted, satin, and cotton gloves as a fashionable accessory.
Skirt: Opt for floor or ankle-length skirts in silk, brocade, velvet, satin, or cotton. Most colors and some subtle designs, such as paisley, are suitable. If the skirt is full, consider adding a petticoat or hoop skirt underneath it. A wide ribbon or matching material tied around the waist with a bow in the back can create the illusion of a cummerbund.
Shoes: Depending on your gown’s length, choose a comfortable walking shoe if it won’t be visible. If your shoes will be on display, pointy-toed flats or boots are excellent choices.
With these costume ideas, you’ll be ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Dickens on Centre and prepare for a truly magical experience in historic downtown Fernandina Beach on beautiful Amelia Island from December 7-10, 2023!
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