Blending Timeless Victorian Fashion with Modern Trends

It’s hard to escape the considerable influence of the Victorian era in fashion. Its enduring popularity is visible at Steampunk Festivals around the country where people of all ages enjoy dressing up in full Victorian attire. Fashion has always been inviting to trends from the past and the Victorian age with its depth and range of styles is welcomed more than other eras, not just for elaborate dressing up costumes but as a classic everyday look. Victorian fashion is still popular today and with the basics woven into new modern designs, you can create a timeless look which can be adapted, updated and re-invented to suit any situation.

Updating Victorian Style

Re-invention is what fashion is all about and hints of Victorian style crop up in modern design time and again. If you are looking for dressy wear that makes you look classy and elegant, the combination of modern trends with classic styles is never out of fashion. Victorian fashion lends itself particularly well to the style of older women. Fitted blouses with long sleeves and high necks will flatter your figure while at the same time covering your neck and upper arms. The joy of blending fashion styles from different eras is that in this case you can drop the matching bustle. Instead, you can indulge in Victorian style but with a contemporary twist and wear an embroidered or lace trimmed shirt with a pair of classic straight leg trousers for an elegant and yet modern look..

Cut From the Same Cloth

Victorian clothes were limiting with tight corsets, bustles and cage crinolines. The voluminous skirts, although popular and striking, were uncomfortable, impractical and very restrictive. Thankfully, with the invention of lycra and less rigid ideas of the ideal figure, corsets are no longer necessary (unless you love the Steampunk look, of course!). However, there is no doubt that Victorian fashion still inspires our style today and some of if its most enduring elements, the luxurious materials and intricate decoration, are easily added to a modern wardrobe. A tailored velvet jacket in rich tones will give an ordinary outfit a dramatic Victorian look and even the simple addition of a black lace choker can add an element of Gothic 19th century style.

Inspired by Victorian Classics

At the recent Fashion Weeks in London and Paris, fitted blazers combined masculine and feminine aspects of Victorian fashion and John Galliano’s designs were inspired by the 1900s set novel Picnic at Hanging Rock. The white pinafore dresses decorated with pearl, similar in style to the recently revived prairie dress, are perfect for a hot summer but with the winter approaching, now might be a better time to invest in a long dress coat, soft leather gloves and lace up ankle boots, an enduring, classic Victorian style and perfect for a long country walk in the snow.

Combining Victorian influences with today’s fashion creates classic, timeless style for all ages. The echoes of the past are threaded throughout every era of fashion so by combining them with up to date style and practicality, you can pay tribute to the style of the Victorian era without compromise.

Incorporating Smart Tech Into That Classic Victorian Design


The overall theme for a Victorian home is ornate and lavish with a desire for decorations, some dating back to the 1800s. Since then, builders have worked tirelessly to design fancier ways to add ornamentation and decor that is relevant to changing times. The introduction of information technology towards the end of the 20th century opened possibilities for exchanging information between people, appliances and systems, possibilities that are still under exploration.

The smart home is the latest trend in innovative home technology, and it puts the safety and control of your entire home at your fingertips. With the internet of things (IoT) concept becoming a more visible and accessible option, you can transform your house and still keep that Victorian design and theme intact. Upon installation, you would be able to remotely control common aspects such as security, lighting, doors and temperature. Making your home smart could also raise the value of your Victorian house considerably.

Wireless or wired?

“When transforming your Victorian home, it is advisable to use wireless technology,” Andy Stanford-Clark, head of IoT department at IBM told the Guardian. By so doing, you will be causing minimal disturbance and damage to your decorations. In case you encounter problems with signals, you can opt for mesh controllers such as ZigBee because they offer better coverage. In addition, smart lighting systems for the home can be mounted on the wall plates, which can then be customised to look like a traditional switch that matches the exact theme of your interior. If you have to install a wired system, it is advised that you do it when other renovations are done, such as an energy retrofit. You can also snake a wire through the floor joists, though it could be more expensive.

Old heating and smart locks

The difficulty with older homes is that rooms tend to vary in temperature, but you can overshadow that by having smart heating sensors monitoring each room’s temperature and comparing it to external weather from a weather website or an outside sensor. If your home uses storage heaters, purchase a disguise adaptor that sits between the wall socket and the plug of your appliance. When it comes to smart locks, you do not have to destroy your doors and windows. “We had a gorgeous antique door that we did not want to cut into to install the new smart locks. We got a keyless entry system that sits on the top and replaced the deadbolt on the interior, and it works perfectly.,” said Christian Roehl, owner of Incommand Systems.

That 100-year-old house with stunning decor, high ceilings and ornate chandeliers is beautiful, but if it does not feature technology that makes your life easier, then it needs some adjustments. The goal is to install smart technology while maintaining the overall Victorian look. “The good news is that everyday technology is becoming more wireless and devices are getting smaller,” claimed Dan Diclerico, a smart home strategist for HomeAdvisor. He says that internet signals, with the help of WIFI boosters, are overcoming barriers, making installation of smart devices less invasive.

Plants And Fish That Bring Life To Victorian Homes

If you own a Victorian style home, you likely want a decor that matches the period design of your home. When it comes to decorations that bring life to a home, you may wonder what clashes with the time period your home represents, and what matches. Aquariums are a classic addition to Victorian homes and match the upholstery just as much today. Wisteria and jasmine, classic climbing plant life, are also classic imagery around Victorian homes both new and old.

Cradle graves for interior design

Cradle graves, a name for potted or container-held plants, are a classic staple of Victorian design. Victorian design reached many points across the world, and in colonial America in particular, cradle graves were said to be especially numerous around Victorian styled homes. The fact that these plants are meant for planters means they’re easy to add to the interior of your home, brightening up rooms and adding new colors with a variety of different plant life.

Add vines and climbing plants to the exterior

If you’re thinking about the outside of your home, climbing plants like spreading wisteria are classic Victorian design elements. Wisteria tends to support itself with the walls and fences of Victorian homes and can be a great way to cover an otherwise bland side of your home’s exterior. Another popular vine that can match a Victorian home’s exterior is jasmine. A combination of the two can bring colorful purples and standout whites to a garden around your home.

Aquariums and Victorian design

If you’re more interested in the wildlife you can bring into your home, know that aquariums and Victorian homes have a long and storied history. Many Victorian homes had and have elaborate aquariums to show off exotic fish and aquatic pets. William Alford Lloyd was the first professional aquarist and popularized the idea of aquariums in Victorian homes across England. To him, oysters, lobsters, and exotic fish were all worthy additions to a Victorian home.

Victorian homes are rich with history, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be bustling with a variety of living things as well. Vines and climbing plants like wisteria and jasmine are classic additions to any Victorian home. Aquariums are also an idea that Victorian era noblemen made their own, and match the storied design of these homes.  And cradle graves, or potted plants, have been used to add color to Victorian home interiors for more than two centuries now.

Ways to Modernize Your Victorian Home 

The best part about older, traditional homes is their character. The aged interior and exterior characteristics often date the rooms and inspire a lovely sense of nostalgia. Victorian homes, especially, are known for their unique features, including complex and decorative interior trims, steep pitch roofing and asymmetrical architectural details. Still, there’s no reason why your Victorian home has to remain fixed in the 1850’s. Instead, there are many simple ways to modernize your old Victorian in a way that brings your rooms into the 21st century. Your new “Modern Victorian” home will look fantastic, emphasizing both the Victorian-era characteristics and some chic, contemporary designs, too.

Bring Your Fireplace into the 21st Century

Fireplaces will either instantly date or modernize a space. Victorian-era fireplaces can make a room feel heavy, dark and extremely traditional, so why not renovate it to make it look a little more contemporary? By installing a wall-hanging model that’s electric or ethanol burning, you can integrate a chic, simple design that will make the space look entirely fresh. Modern fireplaces, even in a room with other Victorian elements, will give the entire ambiance of the space a renewed feel.

Install Modern Light Fixtures 

Another way to showcase the old architecture of your Victorian home in a creative, 21st century style is to install modern lighting. While not all modern light fixtures will fit with Victorian designs, something that is more mid-century modern or Scandinavian modern will do the trick. Remember to mix old with new and new with old. Mixing the styles of lighting and eras will lead to a unique final product that flows together in a contemporary fashion.

Incorporate Cutting-Edge Artwork 

A final idea for modernizing an older home like a Victorian is to incorporate some interesting, engaging, cutting-edge art pieces. Picture this: You have a classic Victorian room that’s square and lined with dark wooden trim, and you add a colorful, abstract painting to the middle of a white wall. The artwork will instantly raise the level of your home’s aesthetic and make it more intriguing, rather than classical or predictably Victorian. Just because the architecture looks one way doesn’t mean that every detail in the interior of your home has to reflect the era.

By installing a wall-mounted fireplace, hanging some modern light fixtures and incorporating cutting-edge artwork, you can revamp your Victorian home and transport its interior design into the 21st century.

Saving Money The Victorian Way

header1Now we’ve rung in the New Year, many of us will be looking at our bank balances and feeling twinges of regret about our overspending during the holiday period.  According to Forbes Magazine, consumers who took on additional debt this holiday season added an average of $1,003 to their balances. The burden of debt can have a huge impact on both our emotional and physical wellbeing, leading to stress, anxiety, and sleepless night.

If you’re struggling with debt, or have simply overspent and would like to tighten your belt in order to get your budget back under control, then why not look to our Victorian past for a huge wealth of fun ideas on how to save money? Frugality and resourcefulness are both key buzzwords for describing the lifestyles of most Victorians, regardless of their class and social status. Victorian people made do with what they had and were incredibly resourceful when it came to finding what they needed without expense.  Here are some ideas on how you can adopt this philosophy to suit your own lifestyle:

Repair Rather Than Replace

Victorians didn’t have wardrobes overflowing with clothes in the way that so many of us do: they certainly didn’t feel the need to wear a new outfit for every social occasion they attended. Clothes were not purchased off the rack: each gown worn by a woman, for example, would be made either by a professional seamstress or (if finances didn’t allow) hand sewn at home. As a result, dresses were often repurposed and updated to suit changing fashions, and repaired when they were showing signs of wear, rather than simply discarded. Modern money savers can learn a lot from this Victorian model: why not learn some simple sewing techniques? It is much more cost effective to replace a button than buy a new coat, and small holes in garments can be repaired very simply with minimal skill and technique. By repairing rather than replacing clothes, and other items around the home, you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save: that money would be much better spend on removing the burden of your debt and living a debt free life than on continued consumerism and things you don’t really need .

Ditch Your Car

Very few Victorians had their own personal transportation: the Victorian era was the era in which public transport became more easy and convenient to use than ever. Regular buses, trams, and even a rudimentary underground railway system (which would later become the subway) were all established during the Victorian era. Taking public transport is easy, cost effective, and what’s more it’s also great for the environment. Contrary to popular belief, nearly all forms of public transport pose less of a cost to the average commuter than driving and, thanks to increasing congestion and traffic, you can often reach your destination much faster if you are travelling by public transport too. Why not ditch the car (at least for a couple of months) and see how much money you could save on gas, parking, and car maintenance expenses? You might even find that taking public transport is so convenient that you never want to jump in your car for simple journeys again!

Grow Your Own Vegetables

Why not make like a Victorian and use your backyard space to grow something useful, such as vegetables? No matter how big or small their outdoor space, the Victorians often utilized this to grow vegetables in order to ensure they had access to a nutritious meal without having to spend any more. What’s more growing your own vegetables is a fun and inexpensive hobby that you can involve the whole family in, and it provides a great lesson for children about where food comes from, as well as encouraging them to spend more time outdoors. Carrots, tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers are all very simple to grow for a beginner, and you will soon be able to eat and enjoy the fruits of your labour, whilst watching your grocery store bills decrease as a result. Have a large yard and enjoy the idea of growing your own food? Why not consider buying some chickens and a small chicken coop: much cheaper to own as a family pet than a cat or dog, when you own chickens of your own you will always have a ready supply of eggs for breakfast!

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