Recently married Victorian women

In Dickens' 'Our Mutual Friend' Mrs.Sophronia Lammle says she has not long been married and adds 'I am dressed as a bride, you see' What details of her outfit was she referring to? It appears to have been something instantly obvious--a veil or something? A special style of cap?

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Jul 26, 2017
Victorian Brides
by: Bess

Prior to the reign of Victoria, wedding dresses came in all sorts of colours.

Fashion, of course, follows the monarch, and when she decided that she would wear white for Prince Albert, she started a trend which has never really ceased to be followed, though some modern brides do choose to wear different colours for the sake of their personal taste or if white does not suit or "feel right.

I've had a little poke around on the web, and quite like this article: which gives some details of Victorian wedding traditions, and the traditions attached to coloured wedding dresses prior to her reign.

I suspect however, that Mrs Sophronia is referring to the tradition of married women wearing their hair up and likely covered with (as you mention) a special type of cap or hair covering.

Unmarried girls did not wear anything in their hair other than braids and flowers, and their hair was traditionally long and down, to signify availability. Of course, as shop girls became more prevalent, employers might have dictated hairstyles to some degree, but then shop girls tended not to be married. In fact they usually had to retire into marriage from the workforce! Bonnets for outdoor wear were obviously a different matter, since one needed to preserve a pale complexion if you didn't want to give the impression of having to work outdoors for a living! Hair would still have been "down" under the bonnet, flowing from under the nape of the neck.

Married women wore a range of lace head coverings indoors and out, that should turn up in a search of Pinterest or similar sites.

Good luck!

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