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Don’t get me wrong, here at the VictoriAnachronists, we love ourselves a good pair of jeans, and we are grateful that we don’t have to put on a girdle to take our dog for a walk.  That being said, there are definitely some things a modern woman can learn from Victorian and turn of the century fashion.

 1. Wear clothes at your natural waist.

Do you ever wonder why the women on Downton Abbey all look so freakin’ skinny?  Two reasons – first, they are all really skinny, but Second! they wear skirts at their natural waist.

There is an alarming trend towards “low-rise” pants that, instead of cinching you at your narrowest point and covering and smoothing everything below the waist, they cut your figure right in the middle of your hips, ruining your silhouette. The low-rise pants situation has gotten so bad that THIS product now exists.


Do you want a real solution for muffin-top? No, it’s not Cross-Fit, the grapefruit cleanse, or even Trendy Top. All you have to do is buy clothing that is cut for an actual human female with a waist and hips! Choose skirts that hang at your waist or just below. This hides your belly and hips while streamlining your whole figure. The same goes for trousers and suit pants. But Vicky, you say, I can’t find any pants that fit at my waist! To this, Vicky responds that it might be time to stop shopping in the Junior’s section; Vicky stopped shopping in the Junior’s section when she turned 11. It’s time, ladies.

2. Modesty is sexy.
Victorian women knew that less is more when it came to sexy. There is nothing less attractive than a woman shoved into a too-tight clingy spandex mini-dress showing every dimple and roll. Of course, we realize that there are some women that can pull off pretty much anything. If you are an Iron Woman Triathlete or an ultra-marathoner and you burn 5,000 calories a minute when you’re sleeping, wear whatever the heck you want because you are freaking amazing. For the rest of us, much more attractive is fitted clothing that covers and creates a smooth, shapely silhouette and leaves the rest to the imagination. This leads into the next lesson, which is…

3. Curvy is Beautiful.
Curvy figures have gone in an out over the last century and thankfully, they seem to be coming back in. Modern women admire women like Jennifer Lopez, Kate Winslet, Queen Latifah, and many others for embracing their curvy, feminine shape. Victorians appreciated a feminine figure so much that they went to great lengths to create the shape if the woman didn’t have one. Bustles were the original Apple Bottom skirt used to emphasize a woman’s backside.

Corsets were also part of the standard wardrobe. Most everyone knows that corsets will give any girl an hour-glass figure, but they are restrictive and uncomfortable, and I’m not sure a bustle would fit in an ergonomic office chair for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Luckily, you don’t have to suffer the discomfort and inconvenience of these out-dated accoutrements to look the part. A structured top or jacket and a belt can help give any woman a more defined waist. A-line skirts give a feminine shape and flatter the backside while hiding your belly.

4. Hats look great on everyone.
This is just a fact. There are hats for every face shape and every hair style. Go to a hat store and experiment!

5. Real men wear dressing gowns.
Dressing gowns are hot. Here’s why:

A. Dressing gowns make you incredibly clever, perceptive, and confident. And kiiind of a jerk, but that can be forgiven if you have cheekbones like this guy.

B. Dressing gowns get you hot make-out time with “the help.”

C. Dressing gowns allow you to hide crazy wives in your attic and STILL charm the bustle off the governess.
6. A suit is the sexiest thing a man can wear.
There’s nothing else to say for this one. Let’s go straight to the man-candy.