My Turkey-Red 1830s Fall Outfit

Welcome, Fall!

“Fall” by Alphonse Mucha

Sorry for such a long break! I’ve had plenty excitement going on at home and at school, not to mention getting a darn pernicious cold!

“The Poor Poet” by Carl Spitzweg, 1837

Anyway, I’m back again, this time to show off my fall costume! I’ve really been loving the 1830s, especially this beautiful print gown from the Victoria and Albert Museum…

Outfit, circa 1825-35

…but I lack the time and skill needed to sew my own version. :(

So what’s a girl in my predicament to do? Cheat– pragmatically of course! My 1830s outfit was assembled from a lot of random items purchased sporadically from thrift stores, antique stores, and the ‘Bay or borrowed from my unsuspecting family members. It’s not entirely historically accurate, but hey, it’s in the spirit!

What I’m Wearing:
Turkey-red cotton 1980s dress – $25, eBay
Black stretchy sash – came with one of my work blouses
Lace sofa drape (worn as a collar) – $2.50, antique store
Victorian collar pin – My Etsy shop
Hat basket – 50 cents, charity shop
Silk scarf (worn as a hatband) – borrowed from my sister
Cotton gloves – $6, eBay
Shoes – $40, Chadwicks

Underneath it all, I’m wearing my eBay corset, a bra, five skirts, a cotton tank, and thick cotton socks because it finally decided to get chilly down in southern New Mexico! I really wish it was easier to find square-toed, early Victorian shoes. They’re really out of style at the moment except on heeled boots and pumps, whereas most 1825-1860 boots and slippers were flat-soled, like this:

Wedding Slippers, circa 1835-45

Silk Slippers, circa 1835-45

Wedding Boots, circa 1854

Boots, circa 1855-60

I bought some leather a few days ago and have cut out some soles to start my own pair of early Victorian slippers since they were famed for being moderately easily to make, and if mine fall apart after a few days (of wear or my bad stitchery, time will tell), at least that sad event will be perfectly historically accurate as well!

9 thoughts on “My Turkey-Red 1830s Fall Outfit

  1. I dig it! My newest fichu was liberated from the top of my mother’s piano. You look smashing. I have a secret fancy for the 1830’s.

  2. This has given me hope. A local youth theatre group is doing *A Little Princess,* set, for whatever irrational reason, in the 1830s, and I’m supposed to clothe some of the performers. Now I can stop moaning ‘WHY did it have to be the 30s?” Never thought I’d be grateful for 1980s fashion…

    1. LOL! Some 1970s Gunne-Sax style dresses work, too, and 1980s clothing is also fabulous for 1890s. For sewing an 1830s dress, I love my ole standby Simplicity 3723. Just add puffs to the sleeves, a wide shawl to the shoulders, a tall hairdo/bonnet, and BAM! 1830s outfit. :)

  3. Another excellent approximation. Going to follow your lead here and try to find a dress with gigantic sleeves. Covering with a fichu hides the “not-right” shoulders. Smart! : )

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