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how to dress like a lady. by ryuuenx how to dress like a lady. by ryuuenx
I suppose this is a tutorial of sorts; please let me know if you think it should go somewhere else! Also, please DOWNLOAD to see the full thing!

I've been studying late Victorian/Edwardian history/culture for the horror novel (hahaaaaaa) I've been writing. (Accuracy = less plotholes). It amazes me what the women had to go through to get dressed every day! To give myself a reference cheat sheet, and for anyone else who wants to see, I've created this 'tutorial' on how to dress a chick in late 1800's-early 1900's clothing. While the drawings aren't detailed, they get the point across. This stars my character Victoria. We've already seen her in a corset [link] (Mature content!) but up until now I've never reeeeally taken the time to draw her in super-accurate clothing for her time period. Perhaps this will help!

Note: I'm by no means an expert on this subject, so forgive any mess-ups!

References: [link] and Wikipedia.

Vicki and Vic(c)me. No touchie, but feel free to use this as cheap reference if you feel so inclined.
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:icondemonkitty66:
Demonkitty66 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014
accurate! Having dressed in Victorian style outfits many times before, and in only HALF the amount of layers, I can confirm that it takes a long time to put it all on
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:iconyukinekocat:
Yukinekocat Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013
What is the type of dress is she wearing (the maroon/pink)?
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:iconspiceprincess:
SpicePrincess Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2013  Student General Artist
Most likely mid-late Victorian... 1870-1880's. Judging by the collar, shoulders and bustle.
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:iconyukinekocat:
Yukinekocat Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013
Thank you very much
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:iconspiceprincess:
SpicePrincess Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Student General Artist
You're welcome!
There's also a bit of Edwardian in there if you ask me...
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:iconmely9matzir:
Mely9Matzir Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013  Student Interface Designer
cute!
Reply
:iconhenrytrettenbach:
HenryTrettenbach Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Student General Artist
These are nice tips.
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:iconthe-awkward-family:
the-awkward-family Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011
This is so cool * . *
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:iconcorafreakshow:
corafreakshow Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011  Student General Artist
I have to deal with that every morning except the corset part its hard running around from class to class with 3 layers of pettiecoats and my cute hot pink bloomes oh the fun times of loving the victorian and eddwardian era with a passion
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:icongalaxy-cat:
Galaxy-cat Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2010  Student Digital Artist
hmmm thats why they were so white back then , it was wayy too hot to go outside
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:iconfantasystock:
FantasyStock Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2010
:+fav: This tutorial is featured in "Costume Design 101" for Costume Week.

Thank you for sharing your design techniques with the community!
Reply
:icondebellespoupees:
debellespoupees Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
LOL :) just a few notes, meant in the most positive way, the drawers/pantaloons/bloomers were not always worn, it was considered scandalous at first. It was around 1850 that you see them a lot, basically the hoops left something to be desired if one were to tip over... 4 petticoats and the chemise would cover your *** ;) but with the hoop skirt women started wearing them, they were ankle length and started crawling up to the knee about Edwardian throughout the Era (just go by the length of the VBS), story goes a princess took her husbands underpants. Around the 1880's the combination underwear was popular, crotchless underpants connected to the camisole part. Corset covers weren't quite as common as believed, for sheer dresses they would be used to hide the corset lines. Most bodices have a very sturdy interlining and no lining - trick is to have as little layers around the waist and as many as one can bear from the waist down, or in 1890's from the waist up! - The chemise doesn't protect the skin from the corset, it's the other way around, it's hard to clean a corset and easy to clean a chemise, so keeping body fluids and sweat away from the corset prolongs it's life span. Again it's around the 1840/1850's when metal eyelets and busks come into use, the front closing or busk is not used instead of lacing, in fact if the busk is undone in front with strain on it, it could pop a stud off or bend out of shape. However, a front closing prevents the corset from the need to be untied completely, and makes it easier to dress/undress one self. Oh and of course the most important one, you have morning dress/day dress/visiting dress/dinner dress/evening dress/ballgown for one day ;) and that is why there were visiting cards and hours set-up to give the hostess the possibility to be changed into a new dress to fit the occasion.
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:iconlorelei-coral:
Lorelei-Coral Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010
How is it possible that they had to go through all of that and only have 24 hours in a day? lol with everything you described, I can't imagine where they would get all the time to not just put all of their clothes on but to change more times during the course of the day/evening.. it's crazy. But it was interesting to read what you said about the visiting cards, I never knew why they did that when I saw movies of such eras.. always thought it was out of respect of some sort.
Reply
:icondebellespoupees:
debellespoupees Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Well it was entirely disrespectful to come by not priorly announced and before certain hours a day, for the reason that the ladies needed time to get dressed and re-dressed :) I have some books on etiquette, the american are different from the british.

What I am describing is for women that did not need to work, they often had a maid to get them dressed and took them about 2 hours to do so each time (especially the hair!!), so morning dress/wrapper and then between 10 and 12 get dressed for visiting or for going out for a walk or appointment or shop or expecting company or later afternoon for tea ... when going for tea you would keep your gloves and hat on, so they would only serve things that wouldn't smudge your kid gloves ;) women that had to work had fewer options and not the same extensive wardrobe. There were dresses that had a day bodice and a ball or evening bodice, especially if you were visiting somewhere for a day and dance in the evening, you wouldn't have much room or time to change, wearing a different bodice and doing up your hair, was enough to at least be dressed appropiately.

It's much easier spending a lot of time getting dressed when the kids, household and groceries and cooking are completely taken care off and your biggest concern is to look your best and be accomplished in needlepoint, speaking some languages, the piano, classics, singing, maybe some painting, acceptable sports and light gardening work. I for sure wouldn't mind since I love horse riding, walks in the country side, embroidery, foreign languages, singing, reading classics, drawing... I could learn to play the piano and have done oil painting before and light gardening work as well.
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:iconlorelei-coral:
Lorelei-Coral Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2010
You have a love for such an era and way of living I can tell. Thanks for the reply, I really like learning about such times. Hollywood usually portrays the male side of life like war, but they don't really go into much detail about the feminine life.

Not sure if you ever read the book "The Luxe" it's the first in the series. They are very addicting to read. The author is Anna Godbersen, I believe. If you never read it, you should.
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:icondebellespoupees:
debellespoupees Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you for the recommendation, I'll take note of it, though I have about a yard of books which I purchased but haven't read yet!
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:iconlorelei-coral:
Lorelei-Coral Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2010
Haha, well you should really get around to reading them lol.
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:iconizas:
IzaS Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2010
Very funny I love it
Reply
:iconalois-noette:
Alois-Noette Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2010
Hahahaha. That's amazing
Reply
:iconcrazed-fangirl:
crazed-fangirl Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
This is a great quick reference! ^_^ Thank you.
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:iconrococoroses:
RococoRoses Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Great tutorial! Very helpful to me considering my lack of brain cells that only function with pictures xP
It'll be awesome if you could do one on the hoops and bustles to like to mentioned in no.5! :) Nice job.
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:iconryuuenx:
ryuuenx Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010  Professional General Artist
Glad you like it! Oh, those damned bustles XD; I have a reproduction of a Sears' department store catalog from 1897. I should look up their section on them! XD;
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:iconnasdreks:
Nasdreks Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010  Professional General Artist
Don't forget on top of everything else everything was fastened with teeny tiny buttons (no zippers)
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:iconterrizae:
Terrizae Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010  Professional General Artist
Cute!:aww: And informational as well, very nice. :D
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:iconthousandmaster-nagi:
ThousandMaster-Nagi Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010
this is how girls should dress
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:iconlatenightlady:
LateNightLady Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010  Professional Writer
Perfect :) I am writing a late 19th century story and the underwear was being elusive. Thanks :)
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:iconnightdragon:
nightdragon Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2010
This was educational and entertaining!
I've studied the Victorian era myself. I don't think that I would have lasted long in a corset...!
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:iconryuuenx:
ryuuenx Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2010  Professional General Artist
Yeah, all those layers would kill me! Especially in the summer!
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:iconnightdragon:
nightdragon Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2010
Especially in front of other people, can you imagine trying to remain pleasant for hours dressed that way?
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:iconcelestetheburninator:
I love this! XD Thank youuuu!
Reply
:iconpenguinator-3ooo:
Penguinator-3ooo Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2009  Student General Artist
Thank you so much, this tutorial was great. I was using it to incorporate the Victorian style into a modern look.
Reply
:iconankh-of-chiaroscuro:
Ankh-of-chiaroscuro Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2009
Ah! Thank you so much for making this! I don't know how many times I've seen people just draw a gown with lots of frills to it and call it Victorian! Most people are also very tempted to put the corset on the outside of the dress. Most improper!
I've been wanting to do a tutorial for period clothing as well. If I do, may I link back to this one?
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:iconryuuenx:
ryuuenx Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2009  Professional General Artist
Sure, feel free! Glad I could be of help :D there's a lot of web sites that can help, too, like bustledress.com. That site sells vintage and reproduction clothing :) great for references!
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:iconstained-reflection:
stained-reflection Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2009
actualy a women wold have to waer at least 2 petticoats, well at least in the vic era not sure about the ed era. Besides that i like it :) i'll deff you this as a reference when i need it :) good work
Reply
:iconladyviktoria:
LadyViktoria Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
And some of us nutcases still dress like that. If not every day, then at least increasingly often, as the body gets used to the corset ;)

Call me crazy but I like dressing in feminine clothes... :)
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:iconlord44:
Lord44 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
another question:

where can i find one on men's clothing in this time period?
Reply
:iconryuuenx:
ryuuenx Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2008  Professional General Artist
I'm not sure if there is one : O

Have you tried looking up vintage clothing or reproduction stores online?
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:iconlord44:
Lord44 Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i'll try that
Reply
:iconlord44:
Lord44 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS!
you just made my life easier ><
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:iconrascalflattsbaby8908:
nicely done
Reply
:iconmayangirl:
mayangirl Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2008
Ah, this is so helpful! I've been looking for some great tips on late Victorian clothes! Thanks a whole bunch!
Reply
:iconryuuenx:
ryuuenx Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2008  Professional General Artist
Awesome; glad this could be of help!
Reply
:iconmayangirl:
mayangirl Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2008
Believe me, it really helps!
Reply
:iconijustwannabeme:
IJustWannaBeMe Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2008
Hm....I'm making a horror novel for this time period as well. You save me because otherwise my characters might have had to go with no clothing....

^^; Thank you so much, dear, for sharing this! :D :glomp:
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:iconryuuenx:
ryuuenx Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2008  Professional General Artist
Haha! No problem, and good luck with your story! :D
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:iconijustwannabeme:
IJustWannaBeMe Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2008
Thanks so much, and you as well! :D
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:iconmanamix:
manamix Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008  Student Photographer
thank you so much for doing something like this; I'm also doing a story in this time period
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:iconryuuenx:
ryuuenx Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008  Professional General Artist
Awesome! Glad it could help! :D
Reply
:iconsofish:
sofish Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2007  Student General Artist
are u inspired by corpse bride? you know..kinda horror story(burton) victorian era, and 2 head charters, named victor and victoria?
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:iconryuuenx:
ryuuenx Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2007  Professional General Artist
I liked The Corpse Bride, yes :3 But when I named the characters. I had completely forgotten they were the same names as int he movie XD;; Just decided to keep them since it fit.
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