Their dress is very independent of fashion; as they observe, “What does it signify how we dress here at Cranford, where everybody knows us?” And if they go from home, their reason is equally cogent: “What does it signify how we dress here, where nobody knows us?” The materials of their clothes are, in general, good and plain… but I will answer for it, the last gigot, the last tight and scanty petticoat in wear in England, was seen in Cranford — and seen without a smile.
The Cranford Group read begins this Tuesday and I thought we’d take a quick look at the fashions of the time it was published, even though our dear Amazons didn’t follow them.
Fashion constantly counters itself– while the Romantic period was about width in the sleeves; the 1850s Victorian fashions were about width in the skirts.
The lady on the right wears a printed day dress with a tiered flounce skirt. Her sleeves are loosely fitted in the upper arm then drop into a bell-like shape at the elbow. I just love her small bonnet! It’s trimmed a little bit of floral detailing on the side. You’ll notice that while bonnets are smaller ribbons remain wide, creating a charming full bow when tied. The lady to the left wears a pale green skirt with stripe details, which enhance the width of the skirt. Her sleeves are a loose bell shape trimmed with ribbons.