Archive | 6:43 pm

Writing a story – 1840s dresses

8 May

I am currently writing a story set in 1840s Yorkshire castle. My protagonist, Amelia, always wears dashing dresses, even if a don’t describe them (unfortunately I can’t describe every single dress) but I can show you my favourite 1840s dresses.

1840s grey silk satin gown 2

I imagined Amelia wearing this dress on a small dinner party for it’s quite casual but still has something glamourus about it; sleeves, detail on the bodice, fabric itself… Besides, I don’t want Amelia to come off as a pompous, spoiled and haughty creature, so she’ll always be wearing simple dresses that show off her natural beauty rather than hide it.

1843. house dress

I love this day dress so much that I’d wear it myself! Naturally, the least thing I could was to have my protagonist Amelia wear it, since I can’t. This will be the day dress she’ll be wearing quite often and it really captures the elements and the spirit of the 1840s fashion; the sleeves, lace fichu, plaid fabric. also, notice how the bodice was decorated; well that was popular in England while in France they preferred having slick bodices with no fabric decorations; ruffles or anything.

1845. evening ensemble

This beautiful but still simple evening dress Amelia wore to a dinner where she had to be more elegant but still the simplicity and purity of her character can be seen in a choice of dress; simple, white silk evening dress with lace details on the sleeves and the neckline. Amelia decorated her hair with white roses to match the dress and that was her only accessorize.

1840. ballgown

1840. wedding dress, ivory colour

Since they’ll be more dinners and evening parties, Amelia will have to wear some other dresses but I still want her to wear white silk or satin dresses because they have a golden glare in the light of a candle. The second dress has some nice embroidery on the skirt and intricate lace details on the neckline. Besides white, I think blue and green coloured dresses would suit nicely to Amelia’s pale skin, blue eyes and ash blonde hair.

1842. Day dress

Though this dress seems kind of odd at first, especially compared to other previous dresses, I can see Amelia wearing it on a more luxurious ball and she really does wear silk shawls very often, not just with evening dresses.

1845. Dress and mantle, England

Amelia is randomly walking around the moors where the cold wind blows the crooked willow trees. Though I’ve set my story in August, the weather in Yorkshire is still pretty cold and harsh so Amelia hast to wear a warm cape and dress and also a bonnet to protect her from the wind. This ensemble is very elegant, but still practical. As soon as I saw it I imagined Amelia’s pretty face peeking from the bonnet while her blue eyes, full of liveliness and kindness gazed wistfully at the lonely moors.