A Victorian-style gown is a wonderful choice if you want a unique prom look. You can incorporate classic Victorian-era fashion elements into modern gowns for prom that will turn heads.
Choosing Gowns With Victorian Flair
Channel the opulence of the Victorian era without wearing a costume. The key to rocking the old-fashioned look is balance, according to Hollywood stylist James Cornwall of Cornwall Styling. Look for dresses with a Victorian flair, but don’t feel like you have to wear an original Victorian dress, Cornwall says. Choosing dresses that feature elements from the Victorian era is a great way to incorporate vintage Victorian fashion into your prom look without letting it dominate.
Corsets define the waist, making any body type look more feminine and alluring. You can choose from many corset prom dresses, but for maximum Victorian impact, choose a gown with a full, princess-style skirt that emphasizes your narrow waist. Cornwall suggests choosing a dress with a corset style bodice that has a princess look. It’s a great way to blend a Victorian look with glamour without looking overdone or dated.”
An overskirt, or second skirt, layered over the top of the dress, was a popular element of Victorian gowns of the 1880s. Prom gowns today don’t usually have this feature, and it really brings to mind past eras.
- This FairOnly Strapless Prom Dress from Amazon.com features an iconic overskirt. There is a strapless, fitted bodice with a side-draped overskirt in taffeta and organza. There are four beautiful colors that would look lovely on any skin tone. Sizes range from extra small to extra extra large. Over 70 glowing customer reviews are available for this gown, which retails for around $80.
- You may also want to consider Quinceanera Dress City’s Strapless Ball Gown. An elaborate bustled overskirt gives this gorgeous dress a real Victorian flair. Strapless bodice, jeweled embellishments, and sleek lines make this look modern and on-trend. Taffeta gowns in sizes 2 through 26W are available in more than 30 colors. The price is just over $200.
With sheer lace or a sleeveless design, the Victorian high neckline doesn’t have to make you look like a schoolmarm. Choosing other elements of the gown that are classic and elegant is the key to keeping this covered-up look stylish.
- With plenty of Victorian charm, the Long Sleeves Lace Applique Beaded Mermaid Evening Gown from TBDress is a gorgeous choice. While the neckline is high, the form-fitting bodice keeps it from feeling too demure. A floating mesh skirt, black lace appliques, and a slight train add to the old-fashioned romance. Retailing for about $150, this stunning option is available in sizes 2 through 26W.
- You can also check out the Victorian Bustle Ball Gown Party Dress from Amazon.com. Victorian elements abound in this gown, including its high lace neckline and corset-style lace-up bodice. Despite this, the lace trim and princess shape are beautiful and timeless. The shirt is available in four colors and sizes up to XXL. About $190 is the retail price.
The elaborate gathered backs of bustles are another iconic element of Victorian fashion. It might not be appropriate for prom to wear the huge rear bustle of an 1890s fashion plate, but there are plenty of modern interpretations of this Victorian style.
- Vintage Dress’ Satin V-Neck Victorian Bustle Ball Gown comes in four gorgeous colors. This stunning gown features a pointed bodice with black lacing, unique ruffled sleeves, and a full bustled skirt. A modern v-neckline gives this gown a high fashion look instead of looking like a costume. For $260, you can choose from a variety of sizes.
- The Floor Length Ball Gown from DHGate is another sweet dress. It’s a modern take on the bustle style, but the draping, sweeping train, and defined waist evoke Victorian splendor. The satin dress is available in dozens of gorgeous colors and sizes 2 through 28W. About $130 is the retail price.
Later Victorian prom gowns often featured a slight train, which was a very popular feature. Choosing one with a silhouette that isn’t too modern will help you emulate this era.
- You can channel the late 1800s while remaining current in the Capped Sleeved Sheath Evening Gown from Elizabeth K. It features a beaded bodice, a high neckline, cap sleeves, and an elegant train. Sizes L through 4XL are available. Just under $400 is the retail price.
- Consider the Vintage Gorgeous Tulle Crochet Flowers Appliques High Neck Sweep Train Ball Gown Dress from DressWe for a completely different look. There is a sleeveless high neck bodice, a full ball gown skirt, and a small train in this over-the-top style. Crocheted flowers cover the entire bodice. In dark navy, this stunning dress is available in sizes 2 through 26W and retails for about $150.
Steam Punk Elements
Nothing beats steampunk fashion for a modern take on Victorian style. It’s a trend worth trying at prom, mixing mechanical elements, fashion from the 1800s, and a bit of science fiction.
- A steampunk dream come true, the Steam Punk Ball Gown from GrandmasStorybrook is made from gold floral damask. Featuring lace details and a slightly dropped waist, the strapless bodice has a sleek, contemporary silhouette. There are poufs of gleaming fabric on the full skirt. There are a range of sizes available in this stunning option. Approximately $450 is its retail price.
- Airship Elegance Ball Gown is a more modern option from auralyne. This dress is made to order and features leather and metal details, a corset, and a high-low hem that are hallmarks of steampunk fashion. A black velvet corset is featured on the bodice, while satin is appliqued on the skirt and a bustle is featured at the back. Less than $600 is the retail price of this dress.
Victorian Prom Dresses
No matter how ornate your dress is, Cornwall advises keeping the rest of your look simple. He suggests styling your hair with a modern style and doing a simple makeup look if you intend to go full Victorian for your prom dress. It will look like a costume if you rock era hair and makeup.” Now that you know the look, find the perfect vintage prom dress.