Wedding dresses changed a lot throughout our history, let alone cultural differences between the traditional wedding outfits around the world. Even classic Western-style bridal gowns sometimes amaze us with their design and functionality. Today, we’d like to show you a wonderful wedding ensemble from the late 19th century. This is a great example of how you could alter your wedding attire in the 1800s with accessories and outerwear to get 3 slightly different looks created for day wear and evening wear. Modern brides also do similar things with their wedding dress instead of buying a few ensembles.
This set of bridal clothing is from The Met (The Metropolitan Museum of Art).
This elegant wedding attire is, basically, a gray woollen traveling suit consisting of a skirt, two bodices, and an extra set of cuffs, collar, and front insert.
Exchanging one bodice for the other and using fancy bright-red extra pieces let the bride look differently for different occasions. For instance, red cuffs, collar, and front insert could be used for the evening ceremony or most festive part of a wedding, while simpler gray garments were perfect for day wear. All in all, a woman could create 3 different looks from this one set. By the way, this wedding attire wasn’t a one-night outfit, like contemporary wedding gowns usually are. In the 19th century, women often used their bridal gowns, especially as practical as this particular one, for other special occasions, balls, and fancy events.
All of the garments are decorative and designed in a fashionable Victorian style. They are embellished with gold embroidery, cording, lace, and other decorative elements. But at the same time, the set is rather practical and comfy to use – most traveling suits were. It is made from durable gray fabric. And the attire would have been worn with the period underwear items – a corset, a bustle, and a petticoat.
We even know that this attire belonged to Louise Whitfield (Mrs. Carnegie after marriage), who wore it to her no-fuss wedding with Mr. Andrew Carnegie in 1887. This is so cool that we know the exact name of the bride who got married in this wedding attire 134 years ago! Amazing!