May 13, 2016

Vintage Fun: the (18)30s

Alright, I know what you're thinking: saying "vintage" is quite a stretch when referring to something over 100 years old! But hey, it sounds good, so it's staying. ;)
The 1830's is a most sorely overlooked decade. There wasn't a whole lot happening in the likes of major events, especially in the United States. Everybody pretty much just...lived. Sure, there were technological advances, a few riots, and the beginning of the Victorian era. But no (major) wars, takeovers, or government revolutions took place. So I think this time era kind of fell through the cracks of time, overshadowed by Regency England and Civil War-era America.

Or the 1830's may remind you of Charles Dicken, which can be rather dreary.

Although there isn't a whole lot to talk about on the government side of history when it comes to these decades, there's a side that I like much, much better: fashion.
Now if you have studied historical fashion at all, you may think that the 1830's were rather...silly. And I'd have to sigh and agree; the hair and the puffs and the patterns on many dresses were indeed quite ridiculous. I can only imagine how Mr. Bennet would roll his eyes! But over the past year I have come to realize that not all 1830's dresses were terrible, and I've found some dresses that I really like. And of course, if I like something, I can hardly resist sharing it! :)

                            day dress 1836-40

Isn't this just gorgeous??? I love the diagonal tucks in the front of the dress, and the green piping in all the right places. The pattern and colors are great too.

                                  Dress    1830    The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I know, this is terribly ridiculous and bold, and I would still never wear it, even if I did  live in the 1830s, but there's something about this dress that draws me to it every time I see it. Even if it is too wild, the craftsmanship is impressive.

                                    1830's dress and bonnet:
I really like how the whole ensemble is put together here. The shawl, bonnet, and reticule all make the outfit complete.

                             Day dress 1830’s:

Blue and gold are so pretty together. I would definitely have worn this if I lived back then! This is a great example of a typical 1830s dress; rounded skirts (but not as round as the 1860s), large puffs on the sleeves, a short waist, and plenty of pleats.

                      Find des annĂ©es 1830:

And last, but not least, my favorite dress of all. I think the puffs are less silly in 1830's dresses when they are below the elbow and not above it. The cut, the ruffles, pleats, color, and pattern earn this dress a place in my all-time favorites!

What do you think of 1830s fashion?
Do you have a favorite dress from this post?
Do you think there are other eras of history that are overlooked or misrepresented?


  1. I love the fashion of the 19th century! Pretty much any of it, in fact, from Regency to Victorian. These dresses (well, you know, the nice ones; not necessarily that bright plaid one. :) are no exception. I just adore the puffed sleeves and full skirts and things like that!

  2. We're doing this at uni! I adore this fashion and the Edwardian too! :D

  3. I finally got around to reading this post! Sorry it's taken me so long. :/ These dresses are really lovely. I like the flowered pattern of the first one. And I think the plaid dress is adorable. It may be a bit bold for my taste, too, but then...well, I don't know. I really do like it. The colors are so warm and comfortable looking. :)

    Oh! I literally sighed over that last one. SO beautiful. I can definitely understand why it's your favorite. The sleeves are absolutely gorgeous! And I really like the ruffled neckline. Ahhh! I want a dress like that!! :)

  4. I love historical fashion!!! And I love this post!

    The patterns are so pretty, I particularly like the first one and the last one:)

  5. Thank you all! (I'd reply individually, but I'm very swamped with school right now!)