Victorian Character Costume Ideas

Although the Christmas period may see an outbreak of requests for Victorian costumes, we do hold stock all year round for all the family as there are many different reasons for people holding Victorian events. Of course, it is not just the adults who dress up in Victorian outfits, but also the children.  For example, we get requests for school events throughout the year. The two main areas of school dress-up tend to be Storybook characters (for school book days and book weeks), and historical costumes of particular eras, such as Ancient Times, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Medieval, Tudor, Elizabethan, Victorians and 1940s.


Aside from the regular Victorian fashion we are also aware of the developing trend of ‘Steampunk’ styles. Here Victorian/Edwardian fashion, mixes with the Sci-Fi visions of authors such as Jules Verne and HG Wells to create a ‘retro-futuristic’ look (as per the films Hugo, Van Helsing & The Wild Wild West). There are certain defining costume elements to create the look including corsets and petticoats for women, waistcoats and tail-suits for men and, most symbolic of all, goggles!

Victorian Men’s fashion

During the Victorian era, Men’s fashions did not change very much. The three piece Victorian outfit of trousers, jacket/coat and waistcoat tended to be standard wear throughout the era, with evening wear consisting of a more formal approach with tailsuit, white waistcoat, top hat, cane, etc.. The shorter lounge suits/jackets came in towards the end of the Victorian period.  Suits were worn with a shirt, and although cravats (a form of necktie) were still being worn in early Victorian times, these were gradually replaced with either a bowtie or loosely knotted tie. Hats were also worn and during the mid-1800s the traditional tall Stovepipe Top Hat begun to be replaced by shorter versions and also Victorian Bowler hats. For outdoor pursuits such as hunting or shooting Norfolk suits and deerstalkers were being used towards the end of the era.

Men wore their hair longer than in the early part of the century with a centre parting. After 1850 a moustache and large sideburns (muttonchops) became popular.

As far as footwear was concerned the well dressed man would wear short, lace up boots during the day and carry a walking stick. For the evening, he would wear patent leather shoes and gloves.

Mens Victorian fancy dress suggestions:

  • Alexander Graham Bell – Inventor of the telephone.
  • Benjamin Disraeli – Prime Minister to Queen Victoria.
  • Charles Dickens – Prolific writer and social historian of the Victorian period.
  • David Livingstone – Scottish Missionary and African Explorer.
  • Edward, Prince of Wales – Became Edward VII on the death of his mother, Queen Victoria, in 1901.
  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel – Famous engineer and builder in Victorian times. Frock suit, ‘stovepjpe’ (or standard ‘top’) hat, ‘mutton-chop’ sideburns and a large cigar.
  • Lewis Carroll – Alias of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a Victorian author, who wrote ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass’.
  • Oscar Wilde – Victorian playwright and author.
  • Prince Albert – Prince Consort and husband of Queen Victoria.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson –Author of ‘Treasure Island’ & ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’.
  • Robert Peel – Prime Minister who created the Police Force.
  • Thomas Edison – American Inventor, whose inventions included the electric light bulb.
  • WG Grace – Famous Cricketer who also sported an impressive moustache and beard.
  • William Gladstone – Victorian Prime Minister.

Male Professions from the Victorian era

  • Butler
  • Chimney Sweep
  • Footman
  • Lamplighter
  • Parson
  • Schoolmaster – Teacher’s gown and Mortar board      worn over a suit.
  • Stable Boy
  • Street Seller

 Here are a few accessories you might like to also consider:-



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