Lady Whistledown’s triumphant return may not be the only thing keeping Bridgerton watchers at
the edge of their seats. The gorgeous cast and exquisite locations of the show were breathtaking, no doubt, but one thing shined above all. The fashion trends.
The 19th century wasn’t the best time for feminism the clothes on the other hand exuded femininity. Sheer gowns and delicate bodices ruled the kingdoms. Accessories mostly stole the show and are what separated the rich from the common.
Upper-class women would usually opt for tight, laced corsets worn over a bodice. They were worn with skirts, decorated with delicate embroideries.
The lower class women wore similar dress styles but what really set them apart were again the accessories.
Modern fashion is retrospective and 19th-century western fashion is the latest trend.
A trend isn’t a trend until it has a label that sets it apart from others. ‘Regency Core’ is the term that has been coined to describe the modern take on 19th-century fashion. It bridges the gap between classic and modern fashion. Think corsets and pearls but with jeans, or, puffy shirts with neon accessories. The combinations are endless.
Though the actual name of the trend is new, (we can’t keep calling it Bridgerton-like fashion now can we?)this style of clothing is something that pops up on the runway from time to time. It was up until now that it is being introduced as complete collections.
Regencycore Clothing Pieces
Oh to be a ‘Lady’ in the 1800s and prance around in a long flared gown. Fashion then was all about modesty and honor. The color palette and designs of the dresses portrayed the innocence of the young ladies that wore them.
There is no set fashion style when it comes to the 21st century. The rule is that there are no rules. If regency core fashion is something that intrigues you, but you don’t know how to go about it then don’t worry. Here is a list of a few clothing pieces and accessories that you can add to your wardrobe to look like a ‘new-fashioned lady’.
Empire Waist Dress
An empire waist dress is a dress that is made of a fitted bodice that drapes out under the bustline, as opposed to the natural waistline. What this does is create a slimming and lengthening effect. Since the dress cinches above the actual waist, it gives an appearance of a thinner body shape. It allows for a more flowy silhouette and is a great option for petite or plus-size women.
For a more modern twist, empire dresses are now made with a wide variety of colors and with different necklines. The sleeves can range from long, and flowy to sleeveless. This combined with a V-neck/halter top creates the perfect cocktail dress. As for the hem of the dress, it comes in a variety of options from miniskirt length, and knee-length, to floor-length.
An empire gown is the epitome of elegance and when paired with the right jewels makes for a decadent outfit.
A corset is a tightly fitted undergarment that was worn to shape a woman’s figure. Traditional corsets were made out of baleen and if they were too tightened they would break. Modern corsets are made of steel boning.
Corsets today are not worn to cinch in the waist. Instead, their structure and daintiness are celebrated. It is in fact paired most commonly with shirts that have puffy sleeves. This creates a beautiful contrast between the rigidity of the corset and the fullness of the sleeves.
They come in many colors, of which black seems to be the forerunner. The material used for corsets today is much more breathable and gives off a chic-Parisian vibe. Nowadays fashion is all about ‘what feels good’ while previously, it was more about ‘what looks good’.
Pairing loose trousers with a corset is the perfect amalgamation of the two worlds. A look as such bridges the gap between the two timelines and opens doors for more unique combinations.
Puffy Sleeves and Ruffled Tops
In the nineteenth century, women’s clothing was limited to dresses. The only things that would differ were the accessories and hairstyles. Most of the clothing was focused on puffy sleeves, embroidery, and ruffles. Shape-changing fashion accessories like bustles and corsets were worn for the satisfaction of men, without once considering the comfort of women.
Puffy sleeved white shirts are a kind homage to the women who preceded us. It is a way to express how fashion doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. These shirts look stunning on their own but also pair beautifully with slip dresses. Finish the look with a pair of heels/shoes for a modern day princess look.
Ruffles look regal and elegant when used in moderation. Ruffled tops and long skirts are some of the noteworthy ways of incorporating regency wear into your everyday life. If the top has ruffles, choose a clean silhouette for the bottom and vice versa. Too many ruffles and you may end up looking like an exotic bird.
There is something just so exquisite about lace. Its peek-a-boo type fabric, color, and sheen are just a few of the things that make it look expensive. Gloves were a major accessory in the nineteenth century. They were used to enhance the depiction of the innocence of women. Silk gloves were considered to be a symbol of status.
The women of today are more independent than their ancestors. They are always on the go and have to get their hands dirty from time to time.
Lace gloves are a better option than silk ones for the modern girl. Firstly, they are less expensive and secondly, they won’t cause hands to sweat profusely.
I’m sure you’ve heard the line, ‘Pearls are a girl’s best friend’. Women tend to have an affinity towards jewelry, whether it be pearls, rubies, and so on. The dresses the women wore could only shine so much and so, the upper-class women took to jewels to distinguish themselves from the ‘commoners’.
Pearls became a statement piece. They add a touch of elegance to any look and pair well with almost everything.
Pearls, in today’s time, can break the bank and why spend that much when faux pearls can create the same visual? Pair a pearl choker with a deep-neck, top/dress. Put on a tweed jacket for the perfect look.
Regencycore fashion is a style of fashion which is inspired by clothes worn by high society during the 19th century. It’s a modern twist on age-old fashion.
Meocore style is a trend that revolves around the comfort of women. It involves uncomplicated and easy-breezy clothes that just feel good. The whole idea is to give off a relaxed vibe.
Normcore, as the name suggests, is a fashion trend for both women and men that are viewed as ‘normal’ by a majority of people. It focuses on everyday clothing items like jeans, tees, sneakers, etc. To sum it up, it is a name for clothing that most people wear on a day-to-day basis.
Bridgerton may not be the sole reason why regency core fashion has become extremely popular. This trend has been building up for some time now. It focuses on the incorporation of pieces from the gilded age into the modern era.
Accessories are the easiest way to take a step into the world of regency core and so, it’s time to accessorize up. The world is waiting!