Victorian working women wore practical clothing – suitable for working. Here I’m showing you how a Victorian lower class woman might’ve dressed.
Tie a length of ribbon around the stockings to hold them up. Instead of a ribbon, you can also knit Victorian garters.
Fold the stockings over the ribbon so that the stockings hold up better.
Unboned or lightly boned working stays were worn for support while working and to evenly distribute the weight of the petticoats. I’m wearing my black wool stays with spiral lacing.
Now come the petticoats which may be of linen, cotton or wool. Sometimes an old skirt, which was no longer pretty enough to be seen, was worn as petticoat.
The hair is worn in a simple bun at the nape of the neck (higher in the 1840s and lower in the 1850s and 1860s). To protect your hair from dirt, add a freshly laundered day cap. I’m wearing a plain cotton day cap which is easy to iron.
Wear an apron to protect your skirt.
If you’re going to work outside in the fields, protect your head and dress with a straw hat.
Victorian straw hats usually had a lower crown than the one I’m wearing.
Instead of a strawhat you could also wear a sunbonnet. I’m wearing my mint green hand-sewn cotton sunbonnet.
Here’s the finished outfit of a lower class Victorian working woman.