Fashion in the 1800s – where would you see it?

The fashion industry as we know it today is one of the leading sectors of some economies while influencing millions all around the world. What we wear is of utmost importance in today’s world when our outfits talk for themselves. As a result, the options of clothing are more diverse than ever before, spanning from high-end pieces to so-called fast fashion that is being widely opposed globally. 

Regardless of what and how we see this sector today, fashion has a long and astonishing history dating back to ancient times. From the exact time, a human started to cover their body, the style, fashion, and taste emerged by themselves. It would take this sense of aesthetics and beauty centuries to shape itself as a powerful industry but the diverse and exquisite, often painful history of it is now worth telling. 

Today, the fashion industry is worth an estimated $2.5 trillion globally. This number shows how significant the sector has become. Millions of jobs around the world now depend on it. Fashion truly is a global industry as the manufacturing and production of different parts of this gigantic net happen all over the world. Operations needed to make it all work are quite unique and complex. Countries, particularly in Europe have even managed to develop global trust in their fashion products. For instance, no one will question a $500 handbag with the tag saying ‘Made in France’. Everyone knows that French fashion products are of high quality, fashionable and decent. 

However, the world of fashion was not always full of flashlights and long, beautiful, and prestigious runways. Before the red carpets would arrive at fashion weeks of London, New York, and Paris, individuals behind some of the most iconic and landmark designs had to sacrifice their careers and often freedom. First fashion shows were being attacked by radicals for being too vulgar and shameful. The fashion industry only managed to reach the surface and bloom from the second half of the 20th century. From that point on, the pace became unstoppable and now, fashion magazines and news from all around the world make international headlines on a daily basis. 

Fashion in the 19th century. 

The start of the 19th century was not the highest point of the industry. Fashion was not for everyone. In fact, stylish clothing, which back then was rather uncomfortable, was exclusively for the rich or the royalty. This was one of the most significant indicators of when someone had influence or money. Others wore whatever they could find or afford. Therefore, on the streets of major European and American cities, the social divide was evident from outfits. 

This era was highly influenced by the rule of a particular person. Her reign and its impact on arts, fashion, culture, and global relations would last forever. The Queen Victoria of England in simplest terms created and determined the century by herself. This influence did not only cover the United Kingdom or Europe but the entire world. Even today, the period is mentioned as the Victorian Era. 

Queen Victoria brought and this period brought lots of novelty to the fashion industry. The Royalty along with the government invested more in mass-manufacturing sewing machines and factories where dresses and suites were made faster and more efficiently. Moreover, the era brought a new synthetic dye to the market. This made more colors available for designers who were becoming prominent at that time. 

When it comes to the design itself, the Victorian Era is known for more colorful pieces than ever before that point while abolishing traditional gender roles. This is one of the most important reasons why fashion from this period is considered to be important and historically significant. Crinoline that gave dresses an outstanding scale was very widespread. The corset was an absolute must for a respectable lady from a rich society. Men started wearing more funky pieces as well. They had a greater palette of options to choose from. 

Where would one find high-end fashion in the 19th century? 

As mentioned earlier in the article, fashion was not for everyone during the Victorian era. You would not find one of the high Royalties roaming around the streets amongst regular people. Rather, they used to gather in special venues for special occasions, celebrating, drinking, and commemorating in designer pieces. The 19th century is exactly when fashion became an important part of social interactions between people of the high class. Here is where fashion could be witnessed in the 1800s. 

Theaters: the exclusive space with colorful dresses 

Theaters have always been a crucial part of the social and art lives around the world. Plays used to influence and change thousands of people through the innovative ideas brought to them by some of the geniuses throughout history. The fashion world was pretty much clustered in leading theaters globally. In England, which back then was the world’s center of arts and culture, the Royal family would often attend theater plays. Their clothing pieces then would impact others while the royalty themselves often took inspirations from actors and their costumes. After all, theaters were the place of innovation and novelty. 

Casinos: a contagious culture

Gambling is most definitely something that has been following us since ancient times. It was first used by probably the most ancient of ancestors we could possibly imagine, but let’s focus on those that we can actually imagine.

The most ardent supporter and “spreader” of the gambling culture was the British Empire. Back in the day where most men were expected to enter service and be sent off to far-off lands to guard the Empire’s colonies, many of them would have to pass the time by playing card games or overall placing bets on whatever they could.

This love for wagering spread to the colonies these soldiers were visiting, which is why we see such devout gamblers in Aussies, Kiwis and even Indians. The Kiwis are a slight exception as they are not “downright addicted en masse” to gambling. But what they do enjoy is a good combination of both wagering and class. So in most cases, expect to see VIP casinos in New Zealand that are usually bustling with important and very well-dressed people almost 24/7. In fact, it became such a “trend” so to say that something needed to be done about its more “accessible” adaptation. Enter New Zealand online VIP casinos and their plan to finally end a “monopoly” of entertainment for the rich on the island. Ever since VIP casinos became more and more accessible to the public, the fashion trends of offline venues quickly started to fade, but were soon seen replicated on the online versions of these platforms.

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to visit an online VIP casino in New Zealand and not see some elaborate outfit being donned on the dealers and croupiers.

Royal parties and gatherings 

Obviously, during the time when the Royal family actually ruled Britain and beyond, the richest and the most fortunate used to gather with them. The British Royal Family is rich with castles, Royal estates, and even cultural venues. They have always loved organizing parties, fundraisers, and meetings on one of their estates. This was the case during the 1800s as well when Queen Victoria would entertain herself with thousands of influential personalities from all around the world. 

Such gathering was not only the place to witness local culture but also to explore what other countries had to offer. Guests to the Royal Family used to come from different dependencies, while visitors from all over Europe were almost too frequent. Therefore, such meetings and events were some of the best places to see fashion.