Victorian Blouse


How to say it:  vik-tawr-ee-uh-n  blouz

Traditional Features: 

Victorian Blouse


  • high stand collar
  • full length sleeves with cuff
  • lace inserts and edging
  • ruffles


…of the style: Not surprisingly, the Victorian Blouse was inspired by the shirtwaist blouse, worn by women in Victorian England around the 1890s. Collars were high, the waist was small and the sleeves were huge (often in the Leg-of-Mutton style). The blouses were often decorated with lace and ruffles and remained popular through the final decade of the Victorian Era and into the Early Edwardian years.

In terms of the fashion Victorian Blouse, the style was introduced in the 1960s as part of the Victorian/New Edwardian trend; a trend apparently introduced in 1966 by rockers like the Rolling Stones who often wore second hand Edwardian clothing found in London Flea Markets. During this time the blouses were normally white, featured a tall stand collar with back closure, long sleeves (yes, the Leg-of-mutton sleeves did make a reappearance, but not to the same extent as in Victorian England), and were often trimmed with lace and ruffles.

The trend continued into the 1970s and while many Victorian Revival blouses were hand-made by home-sewers, brands like Laura Ashley and Gunne Sax were particularly coveted during this time. The trend lived on into the 80s, thanks to Ralph Lauren, as semi sheer cotton blouses in white or cream, which were paired with chokers and velvet skirts.

In the 21st century, the Victorian blouse is mainly associated with the Steampunk trend and those that follow it, although designers do return to the Victorian and Edwardian periods for inspiration on a regular basis and high-necked blouses that were clearly influenced by the garments of these periods are often available in the modern marketplace.

…of the name: The style of blouse was inspired by the blouses worn by women in Victorian England.

For more info on Victorian blouses and Victorian clothing in general try A Frolic Through TmeWikipedia, The Victorian Web or check out the Fairchild’s Dictionary of Fashion

21st Century Victorian Blouses

The Victorian blouse doesn’t really exist in mainstream fashion (at the moment) but there are lots of shirts and blouses out there that were clearly influenced by the fashions of that time period.

L'Wren Scott Marc Jacobs

L’Wren Scott, Marc Jacobs

Pendleton Asos

Pendleton, ASOS


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