In the Victorian era of 1837 –1901 there were several changes in fashion trends and the social and economic anatomyof Australia. It was the end of the convict era, rustic expansion of the 1840s,the inflow of free settlers because of the gold rush of the 1850s along withthe development of urbanization in all provinces. ‘By 1890 almost two-thirds ofAustralians stayed in areas which, for census, were termed as urban.’ Clothinghas always been the ‘ever apparent symbol of personality and for ‘recognitionamongst fellows’. Fashion of Victorian era divulged the difference between menand women, as well as between the classes, subculture, moral, occupational, andregional anatomy of the Australian society.
Similar to today’s standardswhere regular dressing for women and men consists of a good looking pair ofjeans and a T shirt, the fashion for men and women in the Victorian period wasextremely formal. They wore attires, even when they were not present for any formal occasion.
The formal wear for female had beena bit changed from previous eras. They did not wear hats then. It was deemed tobe outdated and replaced by bonnets.Hats were meant for flirtatious women.Bonnets were mostly decorated as earlier hats were with bright colors or flowers.
The women’s dresses underwent somechanges. The early Victorian period dresses were very bulky and elaboratesleeves, slim and sleek long sleeves had taken its place. This was the basicchange from earlier era formal dresses. In the later period of Victorianera, other things also took differentshapes. Instead of long dresses, in thenew era the dress had simpler lines .These attires only reached the floor, butdid not drag.
Men’s clothing was fairly identical to other periods.The formal attire for a man was a top hat. The coat was quite long; below theknees and often had a tail . Men wore wear small hats. This was quite a stylishway that goes well with a relaxing robe. The aim of the small hats was in factto experience the warmth during cold weather times. Nonetheless, even afterheating facilities had improved in a majority of homes, people continued towear small hats as they were in style during this era.