Category Archives: 1840s

Here you’ll find costumes and accessories I’ve created suitable for the 1840s – the Victorian era; as well as other 1840s related things.

Mourning In The 1840s

Mourning In The 1840s

‘It shows the best taste to make mourning as plain and as little fanciful as possible’. (The workwoman’s guide, 1840)

Mourning customs were very strict in the 1840s, especially in England. However, wearing mourning wasn’t a ‘punishment’, mourning clothes helped to protect the feelings of the person in mourning. Every stranger they met would recognize their mourning clothes and wouldn’t hurt the feelings of the mourner with unnecessary jaunty remarks.

1840s mourners knew four stages of mourning: They began with a dull black dress, gradually adding more luster and color, and finally wearing a lavender, purple or scarlet dress in the last mourning stage before they returned to wear colors.

Mourning clothes in the 1840s were still dyed with natural dyes. True black was difficult to dye with natural colors – wool and silk is easier to dye than cotton or linen – and it was prone to color bleeding. Mourning dresses could stain the skin and a shower of rain would ruin the mourning veil. Mourning dresses should also not be stored together with white or colored dresses, as they’d stain them. Mourning clothes could be stored separately in divans (The workwoman’s guide, 1840). Continue reading Mourning In The 1840s