There is nothing new under the sun, is there, readers? While watching the Oscars this weekend, I couldn’t help but feel that I had seen this before. This clothing, that is. Not exactly of course, but it wasn’t too hard to find a few examples of this year’s Oscar nominees imitating famous Victorian imagery. So I ask you, who wore it best?
First up is Anne Hathaway and her after-party black and white get-up. Did she wear it better or did everyone’s favorite Victorian flower-monger Eliza Doolittle? My money is on Eliza with this one. If you’re gonna go there, you gotta go all the way there. And put on a giant hat before you leave to go there. Plus a parasol, which you might need while you are there.
Next, who wore this lovely winter-white slouch-shouldered top better, Meryl Streep, or Rossetti’s Lady Lilith? I think Meryl wins this match-up because I think Meryl generally wins everything. Except an Oscar this year, I guess. Plus, Lady Lilith kind of has a man-face.
How about this lovely shade of bright red? Did Jennifer Lawrence top The Lady of Shalott in John William Waterhouse’s painting or not? More importantly, would The Lady of Shalott have tripped on her dress? This is a toughie – I think J-Law looks fantastic, but you gotta give it up for Shalott’s mutton-sleeves. Let’s call this one a tie.
And finally, whose austere and lacy black frock is more fetching? Julia’s or Jennie Jerome’s, the mother of Winston Churchill? Ugh, this one goes to Mama Churchill, 100%. I don’t care for Julia’s funeral home ensemble at all.
And finally, the best group pic of all time?
All Oscars images from Celebitchy
Here’s a lovely Victorian-inspired ensemble for any occasion, even the office! Maybe take the hat off at your desk, though.
The Introduction to Business Skirt and the Print Journalist Top in Wintergreen are from ModCloth. The earrings are from one of my favorite budget-friendly fashion jewelry brands, 1928. The beautiful cloche hat is from Alli Cat Crafts on Etsy. The shoes are Nine West from DSW Shoe Warehouse.
Want to look like Lady Mary for New Year’s Eve? There are tons of turn-of-the-century-inspired styles out there right now, and I have a feeling there will only be more available when Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby comes out next year. Here’s our suggestion for looking your best at the Manor’s New Year’s Eve party.
The dress is the Sounds of Soul Dress, from ModCloth. The shoes are the Everything’s Aglow Heel in Gold, also from ModCloth. The necklace is the Mudd brand Bronze Tone Simulated Crystal Pendant from Kohl’s. The cool custom head-piece is from owllamode’s page on Etsy. Check out the other beautiful stuff she has in her store and Happy New Year!
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.