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 Children's Costume History

Colouring in Pictures 1870 to 1880

Mid C19th Victorian Children's Fashions

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Children's Costume History 1870 to 1880

Colouring in Pictures of Mid Victorian C19th Children Fashions

These costume colouring in pictures reflect the variety of clothes styles girls mostly wore.


Colouring in Pictures of Mid Victorian Children's Costume 1870 to 1880

Girls in costume 1870 Girls in costume 1875 Young girls in bustle costume 1875
1870 1875 1875

The invention of aniline dyes meant that garish colours were used on children's clothing.  Puce, plum, scarlet red and navy were all strong colours of the era.  Corded petticoats were used to support dresses which began to show soft bustle/polonaise element as the skirt was bunched up.

Girl's hairstyles of the 1870s all sported the fringe.

Another popular mass invention was the sewing machine and this enabled garments to be even more profusely decorated with extra frills and pleats or other weighty trimmings.  Braids and buttons were used equally lavishly, but the high bodices were almost always collarless.  Almost all dresses were finished with a large sash ending in a fulsome bow.

Picture of 1875 young girl wearing a soft bustle style dress Young girls in outdoor fashions 1880 1880 Girl in dress colourung in picture.
1875 1880 1880

Long cloaks were reduced in length to a much shorter cape and often they were of fur or tartan checks.  Fur muffs were an essential accessory for the well groomed child of the 1870s.

The tiny hats were saucer sized and were perched atop the head until the mid 1870s when they began to get larger again.   Sleeves remained straight, but often had large cuffs or deep cuffs heavily decorated with buttons and braids.  By 1880 a favourite form of dress for girls was the kilted skirt and hip length bodice over tied with a deep sash.

I've studied costume drawings from a book I have dated 1930 and made my own simplified drawings (mainly of girls in costume) but using felt pens.  These produce a heavier outline suitable for children to colour in and keep within lines.

Children in Costume - These thumbnails enlarge when clicked and print off as an A4 image with a little room for handwriting. 

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This Children's Costume Drawing and Fashion Page Updated Sept 2006

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