Women’s Mourning Dresses Of The 1800s
Mourning dresses were mainly worn by the widows. In the 1800’s when a woman used to become widow her whole attire used to change along with the situation. Obviously she was not allowed to wear anything colorful and vibrant. Mourning dresses were different. A woman does not stay in their mourning dress for more than a year. There are certain stages of a mourning dress.
Full Mourning Dress
There are different stages of a mourning dress. One is the full mourning dress and other is the secondary mourning dress. The full mourning dresses were completely black in color. They had to be worn by the widow at least for 12 months and one more day extra and had a particular cut. The full mourning dress was mandatorily covered with a piece of cloth called the crape. The whole dress was very heavy, uneasy to carry and very uncomfortable to wear. Probably this how they used to sacrifice on comfort to show their beloved that how much they loved them. Next is the secondary mourning dress. This dress has to be worn again for 12 months and for two more days extra.
Secondary And Half Mourning Dress
During this secondary mourning time they have to wear the black attire completely but they can still do without the crape. In this secondary stage women could also wear other nice fabrics like silk and velvet. These dresses were much prettier compared to the full morning dress. After this came the half morning stage. This is the time where women stopped wearing any black dresses. They were allowed to wear some similar hues like grey, purple, violet and other such colors. But nothing too striking or very vibrant.
They could also wear something which was a bit stylish and could also wear any kind of fabric. There were no rigid restrictions. After the half morning stage was over women could have the freedom of wearing anything they would like to and they could also wear any color which they wanted. But there are many who do not wear any bright colors all through their lives. Probably this is just done to show affection today the dead husband.
Why A Mourning Dress?
Mourning dressed was mainly worn by women after the death of their husbands. This was a way of showing their loved one’s how much they used to love them. Mourning dresses were definitely not something that someone would have wanted to wear. It was like a totem and a taboo for all the widows to wear this mourning dress till the half mourning stage was over after which they could wear anything they liked.
Although a women never had to wear their mourning dresses all through their lives but they had to wear it at least for a year or so and it was compulsory. Women also used to wear bonnets and hats during the morning stage. They also used to cover their face with a veil. As days would pass the size of the veil would reduce and after the half mourning stage they did not have to wear the veil at all.