Charm of Mid-Victorian Dress

Published on Author Corset Manager

Dear Sir, – Please do not think I am gushing when I say that the popularity of “London Life” is undoubtedly due to your obvious efforts to please, and your slogan “Hear all sides” makes the weekly budget of correspondence something worth looking forward to. The little fads of readers which you publish are intensely interesting, may you long continue this excellent feature. The addition of a fashion page to the new series was a great idea.
Whilst this item pleases your younger readers, we older folks find our pleasure in recalling the fashions of other days through the medium of the correspondence columns. It was curious that alongside the drawing of a girl with a shaped in waist on the fashion page of a recent issue, should appear a letter from “Mabel Mann” who gives an instance of the attraction which the old fashioned figure, petticoats etc., still holds good.
“Happily Married” gives some sound advice to girls on the lure of snowy lace lingerie. The girls of my day had very few opportunities of making the most of their laces and frills owing to their excessively long skirts, whereas the modern miss with her abbreviated frocks has every opportunity. Contrary to the notion that we mothers and grandmothers are shocked at a display of lacy lingerie, we only regret the narrow existence of our early days.
May I quote the case of another “Happily Married” young friend of mine, who, up to a few weeks ago I considered to be the same as any other young modern person. I had taken tea at her house and accompanied her upstairs to dress for husband’s return from business. When she removed her straight up and down frock which ended at her knees, I was greatly surprised to see that not only was she corsetted, but quite tightly laced in, and she enjoyed my amazed look intensely.
I was more surprised still when she told me that she could lace in much smaller and asked me to assist her. I willingly took up the laces, and without much difficulty made her waist three inches smaller.
She then put on very long black silk stockings, and then some very tight fitting knickers, snow white, with a deep lace frill reaching to her knees. Two snowy petticoats also heavily be-laced followed, and then a black satin gown, sleeveless, and cut very low back and front, and reaching to just short of her lacy lingerie. She then attached a huge chignon to the back of her closely cropped head, and excellently painted and made up her pretty face.
Then out came a lovely pair of black knee-high boots, with tiny toes and heels five inches high which I laced on her shapely legs very tightly. She then drew on to her hands and arms a pair of white kid gloves which fitted without a wrinkle to her shoulders. After delicately perfuming herself, we returned to the drawing-room. When her husband arrived and his eyes rested on his charming wife, I knew that no prouder husband existed and realised that here was a girl who had mastered the art of attracting and holding her husband’s love for so long as she cared.
Be assured of my very best wishes for the success of your charming journal, and a bumper circulation in the New Year.
Yours very truly.
SYLVIA HOLLINGS.