The Victorian era, spanning from 1837 to 1901, was a time of opulence and refinement in fashion. Adults enjoyed elaborate dresses and tailored suits, but children were not exempt from the sartorial splendor of the era. From elaborately embellished dresses for girls to charming sailor suits for boys, Victorian fashion for children was just as intricate and sophisticated as that of their parents.

In recent years, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of Victorian fashion for children, with designers and parents alike embracing the timeless beauty of these vintage styles. Whether you're a fashion enthusiast or a parent looking to dress your little ones in something truly special, this article provides you with an overview of the most captivating Victorian fashion trends for children.

Key Takeaways

  • Lace dresses with puffed sleeves are a popular trend influenced by Queen Victoria and the Royal Family.
  • Adding a fluffy petticoat underneath a dress enhances the shape and adds Victorian charm.
  • Bolero jackets are a timeless and elegant way to stay warm at formal events.
  • Cross-body bags are a stylish option for children, inspired by the trend of chatelaine bags.

The Influence of Queen Victoria and the Royal Family

Queen Victoria and the Royal Family held immense sway over Victorian fashion, shaping trends in the 19th century and leaving a lasting impact on the fashion industry even into the 20th century. Queen Victoria's status as a fashion icon and her penchant for elaborate gowns, along with her adoption of the white wedding dress, influenced Victorian women across social classes. 

The Royal Family's attire for formal occasions set the benchmark for upper-class women, while middle-class women and even lower-class women sought to emulate their styles. Prince Albert's influence was notable as well, advocating for practical and comfortable clothing for men. This era, with its focus on social status and the emulation of royal fashion, continues to inform modern fashion, demonstrating the enduring impact of Queen Victoria and her family on the ever-evolving world of style.

How Did Victorian Women Dress?

During the 19th century, Victorian women's fashion experienced a remarkable transformation, mirroring the evolving roles and societal changes of the era. The fashion evolution can be divided into distinct periods. In the initial period, women favored a high-waisted day dress with pleated skirts and adorned themselves with fabric bonnets. 

The mid-19th century saw the rise of horsehair crinolines, later replaced by artificial cage crinolines, which created a bell-shaped silhouette with broad skirts. These skirts were often layered over heavy petticoats for added volume and structure. For special occasions, they donned a formal evening dress, which was richly ornamented and elegant. 

As women's activities diversified, the informal sporting dress emerged, designed to allow for greater mobility. This period also introduced the mid-thigh length sack coat and the use of dressing gowns for at-home comfort, showcasing the Victorian dedication to modesty and formality even within their own households. We see the evolution of women through their wardrobes, evident in that of Victorian women.

How Did Victorian Men Dress?

During the Victorian period, Victorian men dressed with a distinct sense of refinement and elegance, especially among upper-class men. Their attire was marked by increasingly intricate fashion choices. Victorian men often wore turnover collars, which could be fastened with detachable collars. Waistcoats, or vests, were a staple of their wardrobe and were often brilliant and elaborately designed, adding a touch of individuality to their formal attire. 

The Victorian period also witnessed the influence of the growing industrialization, with factory-produced clothing becoming more accessible to a broader range of people, not just the upper class. Overall, Victorian men's fashion displayed a blend of traditional styles and emerging trends, reflecting the evolving tastes and social dynamics of the era.

How Did Victorian Children Dress?

During the Victorian era, children's clothing was influenced by the prevailing fashion trends of the time. Young children, regardless of gender, typically wore dresses, which were more practical for their age and easier to manage. These dresses often featured high necklines, puffed sleeves, and lace trims. Young boys wore dresses called "breeching dresses" until they were considered old enough to wear trousers, which typically occurred around the age of 5 or 6. 

As children grew, their clothing styles became more similar to those of adults, with boys adopting suits and girls wearing more structured, age- appropriate dresses. Fabrics and designs were influenced by the social status of the family, with wealthier families often dressing their children in more elaborate and intricate outfits. Overall, Victorian children's clothing was characterized by a focus on modesty and propriety, reflecting the values of the era.

Victorian Styles For Children That Are Trending Today

In today's fashion landscape, the Victorian era continues to inspire designers and parents alike, with a resurgence of Victorian styles for children. These timeless and elegant looks, reminiscent of a bygone era, have made a comeback, capturing the hearts of both fashion enthusiasts and those seeking classic, refined attire for their little ones. From lace- adorned dresses to charming accessories, let's explore some of the Victorian-inspired children's fashion trends that are trending today.


The high collar and the iconic winged collar of the Victorian period, have made a stylish resurgence in children's fashion. These distinctive collars, once reserved for formal occasions and the classic dark tailcoat, have now found a wide range of applications across various fashion styles for children. While turnover collars have always maintained a presence in fashion, the distinct charm of Victorian high collars is reappearing, albeit to a lesser extent, as designers and parents alike embrace this vintage-inspired trend to infuse a touch of sophistication into children's attire.


In the ever-evolving world of children's fashion, Victorian-style skirts have recently made a resurgence. They have become a popular choice among parents seeking to infuse a touch of timeless elegance into their little ones' wardrobes. These wide skirts, often characterized by intricate pleating and folds of fabric, draw inspiration from the opulent Victorian clothing of yesteryears. As a result, they are being embraced not only as a nod to history but also as a charming addition to formal clothing collections for kids, offering a glimpse into the past while capturing the imagination of a new generation.


The allure of Victorian-style dresses is making a comeback in children's fashion, bringing with it a touch of 18th-century elegance. These dresses often feature boned corsets, reminiscent of the tight corsets worn by women in the Victorian era. With their fuller skirts, these dresses bridge the gap between evening gowns and daily attire, making them a versatile choice. 

Some even take inspiration from tea gowns, creating an artificial hourglass silhouette that's both charming and comfortable. Despite their increasing popularity, many 21st-century parents do not desire the discomfort of slim waist corsets and heavy layers of petticoats that constricted women, which is why it has become a popular choice to simply take inspiration from Victorian fashion plates, capturing their elegance and sophistication. 

Explore popular dresses


The revival of Victorian style is embracing waistcoats, reminiscent of the elegant fashion of the 19th century. Drawing inspiration from the refined attire of upper-class men, these waistcoats harken back to the days of Prince Albert. Whether paired with a dark tail coat, frock coat, or sack coat, these waistcoats add extra layers of sophistication to children's fashion. The dark waistcoat, in particular, lends a timeless charm, making it a stylish and versatile choice for young ones keen on embracing the classic elegance of the Victorian era. 


Although bowler hats might not be making a big comeback, with their mourning black hue and upper-class superiority, there are many other popular Victorian accessories that we'll see returning to shop windows. Some key examples include fur collars, which are a perfect addition to evening dresses in the winter, and elegant boleros, ideal for an extra layer over your daily dress. We have also recently seen a resurgence in Victorian-style jewelry, such as pearl necklaces and beautiful earrings, which will no doubt make its way into children's fashion.

Vintage Fabric

Vintage is all the rage at the moment, and Victorian-style fabrics are no exception, with the exquisite broderie anglaise leading the way. These fabrics, once reserved for elaborate creations, are finding new life in kids' wardrobes. The delicate designs and extra fabric are often simplified, creating a charming and practical choice for less formal occasions. These vintage-inspired fabrics bring an air of nostalgia while allowing kids to stay comfortable and dress clean, all while embracing the timeless appeal of Victorian elegance.

Buy Beautiful Dresses Online

Unlike during the Victorian era, we now have the luxury of buying our clothes online, and with the press of a button, we can have stunning designs delivered right on our front door. At Princess Gown, we specialize in beautiful dresses, perfect for any occasion. Our wide range of dress styles allows you to achieve the exact aesthetic you are looking for. So, if you want to reminisce about Victorian fashion or are looking for a modern-day alternative, we have exactly what you need.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Did children's clothing in the Victorian era prioritize comfort?

Comfort was a consideration but Victorian children's clothing often emphasized modesty and decorum over modern notions of comfort. Fabrics and styles aimed to reflect the era's societal values.

Are there modern fashion trends inspired by Victorian children's clothing?

Yes, there has been a resurgence of Victorian-inspired fashion for children in recent years, with designers incorporating elements like lace, high collars, and vintage silhouettes into contemporary clothing.


Woman, fashion, skirt, dresses, dress, clothing, waists, periods, corset, coat, fabric, class, petticoats, Queen Victoria, crinoline, silhouette, gowns, collars, occasions, Victorian Fashion, fashion industry.

Victorian woman, boned corset, tight corsets, formal occasions, waistcoat, popular choice, Prince Albert, 18th century, fashion plates, fashion trend, Upper-class women, middle-class women, sack coats, wide skirts, pleated skirts./h2>

Victorian period, folds of fabric, evening gowns, winged collar, Victoria, upper class, middle class, drawing, bowler hats, wide range, 19th century, nineteenth century, 20th century, mourning black, upper classes.

Fashion styles, fashion icon, day dress, daily dress, lower-class women, dark tail coat, cutaway morning coat, frock coat, morning coat, fuller skirts, mourning periods, fabric bonnets.

Tea gowns, fur collars, turnover collars, evening dresses, slim waist, horsehair crinoline, heavy petticoats, layers of petticoats, artificial hourglass silhouette, social status, Queen Victoria's, blog post.

Broderie anglaise, dresses from birth, elaborate creations, extra layers, increasingly factory, lesser extent, previous century, twentieth century, poke bonnet, social classes, upper-class men.

Fashion books, fashion articles, mourning dress, 19th-century dress, formal evening dress, informal sporting dress, constricted women, evolution of women, mid-thigh length sack coat.

Bell-shaped hoop skirts, broad skirts, transition period, initial period, Extra fabric, dressing gowns, dress clean, Victorian clothing, formal clothing.

Our newest articles

Shop our most-loved collections