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How to Dress in Romantic Era Fashion: Dresses and Accessories for Ladies

Kitty went to school for fashion design and merchandising. She loves to design, sew, and create fashion inspired by the past.

Discover how to incorporate some looks from the Romantic era into your modern wardrobe.

Discover how to incorporate some looks from the Romantic era into your modern wardrobe.

Timeless Fashion of Days Gone By

My grandmother used to tell me, "You were born in the wrong century, dear." That's because I always had a longing to live in the Victorian era. The romance, the fashion, the femininity of days gone by. How can we replicate that now, in a world where everything is about technology and just keeps moving faster and faster? One way to bring back the Romantic era is to bring it back as a part of our fashion.

This article is all about how to incorporate Romantic era fashion into your wardrobe without looking like a total blast from the past. Let's bring back some of the femininity and poise that our Victorian ancestors had.

The above are all very Romantic yet modern looks.

The above are all very Romantic yet modern looks.

Incorporating Romantic Era Fashion Into a Modern Wardrobe: The Staples


The very first piece of the Romantic era fashion to bring back is the loads of lace! Lace can be found as a part of almost every clothing article there is: dresses, stockings, purses, hats, sweaters, pants, even jewelry. Every high class Victorian woman in the Romantic era had e-gads worth of lace in her why don't you? Wear an entire dress made of lace, lace stockings, lace gloves, and lace accessories to go full-on Romantic era fashion-ista.

But, if you're not into the elaborate Victorian style, remember that you don't have to wear a high-collared, maxi dress made of lace in order to look romantic or Victorian. In fact, you can wear a simple, white lacy sundress in the summer and bring a sense of romanticism to your look. If lace is too uncomfortable or too much for your taste, add only a lace cardigan to your ensemble.


Another indisputable staple in a Victorian woman's wardrobe is clothing with floral patterns. Roses were considered the most romantic flower, and so they were used as patterns on dresses, coats, and purses in the Romantic era. Today, roses on clothing can still be found in many of our department and boutique stores. In fact, rose patterns are quite the trend at the moment, so you can even find jeans with floral patterns for a decent price. Check Forever21, Macy's, and even JCPenney's for floral shorts, skirts, jackets, cardigans, and blouses. Mix and match your rose and floral patterns to make for a very romantic and girly Spring Day ensemble.

Or wear a simple floral dress to dinner with your hot date. Tapestry bags with rose floral patterns scream Romantic era fashion, and can be found online in vintage stores and in consignment shops...if you look for them hard enough. If all else fails, roses can be worn in your hair and as jewelry to pull off that timeless romantic floral look.

Must-Have Victorian Boots and Stockings

Many of us Romantic girls are shoe fanatics, and so you can bet the first pair of boots we owned was a pair of Victorian-style lace-up boots. If you don't have a pair of Victorian boots, you need to get a pair. Victorian Lace-up boots can come in various sizes, colors, and lengths. You can find Victorian boots that are ankle-high and knee-high. They come in colors such as black, ivory, white, pink, brown, and dark blue. You can find them on Amazon, in boutique shoe stores, on, and many other places if you keep your eyes peeled. I've listed some below for your convenience.

What completes Victorian Romantic era fashion along with the Victorian boots we've talked about? The perfect pair of stockings, of course. You can find knee-high, thigh-high, or full stockings in many colors, patterns, and sizes too. My favorite Romantic stockings are usually lace or spider-web.

Jewelry and Accessories

The Romantic era was all about looking pretty, feminine, and elegant. Jewelry and accessories are something that you must over-do and do a LOT. Pearls, cameos, and art-deco jewelry should be littering your jewelry box.

Scour thrift shops, garage sales, and estate sales to find the best and most authentic vintage jewelry to add to your Romantic era wardrobe. Ask your mother and grandmother if they have any vintage or antique jewelry that they wouldn't mind giving to you. Claire's store in the mall also carry accessories and jewelry that look similar to vintage jewelry that you can purchase for a fairly cheap amount.

Don't forget to look on for vintage and vintage-repro jewelry. And if all else fails, why not make your own if you feel so inclined? Stick to gold and copper for the metals, and then add pearls, pink and purple stones, and white flowers to top off the look.

© 2013 Kitty Fields


Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on April 03, 2013:

Faith - So glad you liked it. Blessings!!

Faith A Mullen on April 03, 2013:

LOVE the romantic modern look. I need to introduce some more lace and florals to my wardrobe. Thanks for sharing! Voted up :)

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 24, 2013:

Great hub! Fashions of the Victorian Era are really timeless. Laces and frills will last as long as femininity. Thanks for sharing these wonderful suggestions.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on February 24, 2013:

Angela - Thanks so much for reading. That must have been so much fun to work for something like that...but I probably would've gone broke! LOL

Ericdierker - Agreed!

dilipchandra12 - Thank you, very much.

torrilynn - Thanks for reading and voting. :)

torrilynn on February 23, 2013:

kittythedreamer, really nice hub that you havewritten here. i think that that included fashion from a different era into what we wear now is magnificent. thanks for the tips and techniques.voted up.

Dilip Chandra from India on February 23, 2013:

Well written and it was organized quite good.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 23, 2013:

When a woman is adorned as she feels fit, she is the prettiest woman that ever held my arm.

Angela Blair from Central Texas on February 23, 2013:

What a delightful read and excellent suggestions. I worked for some years for a wholesale house that specialized in Victorian accessories for women and also Victorian décor -- and I bought a great deal of the products the company sold back then. I'm so glad I did as there's nothing more feminine, on women of any age, than a few accessories reminiscent of days gone by. Best/Sis