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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > May 2018 > The feel of fashion

The feel of fashion

Learn about the clothing worn by your late-Victorian ancestors as dress historian Jayne Shrimpton explores the fashions of the past


Part 1: 1880s & 1890s

A cycling club photograph, 1895, shows active young women wearing tailored costumes and masculine hats, the men breeches and sporting cloth caps
‘In the Holidays’ from The Windsor Magazine, 1897, illustrates how late-Victorian families dressed in lightweight, relatively informal clothes for the seaside

Fashion closely reflects the times in which we live and late-19th century dress expresses the fast-changing world of late-Victorian Britain.

Towards modernity

The late 1800s seem distant from a 21st-century viewpoint, but to contemporaries they were modern times. Many of our close relatives were raised then, like my paternal grandmother (1882-1972), who saw London’s first motor cars in the late- 1890s: she had been school educated, was literate and worked to support herself until she married at 31.

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About Family Tree

Where are you going to take your family history this spring? From planning a trip to The National Archives to a meander down memory lane, there are so many choices... I bet there are few among us whose hearts don’t gladden when spring is in the air, and this issue we’ve got all sorts of ideas to help you get out and about and enjoying your family history. Whether you’re going to pay a visit to the archives, or plan a day out or weekend away to the places where your family once came from, it’s sure to add so much to what you know about your ancestors’ lives. It’s definitely true – the more we look, the more we learn. Have fun!