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Woman dressed in Victorian clothes looking into the mirror.

Unique Clothing Trends of Victorian Times

The Victorian era was famous for its strict social customs and its conservative fashion trends. As with every other culture, the clothing trends that defined this era were intended to accentuate the ideal of beauty. In Victorian times, these clothing trends spoke of modesty and meekness with women, and culture and sophistication among men. Even now, some of these trends are just as popular today as they were then.

Victorian Clothing Trends
Here are some of the most popular clothing trends throughout the Victorian times:

Woman wearing a corset.

Corsets, Big Skirts, and Big Sleeves
Small waists were attractive, so clothes were designed to make the waist look smaller. Big sleeves and big skirts tightened around the waist, creating the hourglass figure that was idealized at the time. Corsets also became popular, which squished stomachs and torsos even further, making waists look even more narrow.

This type of body sculpting may have created attractive figures, but it was also quite unhealthy. They made it difficult to breathe and could crack ribs.

Bosom Boosters
Big bosoms were also attractive during this time, so women wore undergarments designed to boost their breast sizes. Bodices contained padding that lifted breasts, for instance, and reinforced corsets helped to push out the bosom. Combined with the constriction of corsets and the design of Victorian era clothing, these garments accentuated the top-heavy figure that became popular toward the latter end of the 1800s. Even now, stylists, stars and stores all promote this full-bosomed look! Even Victoria’s Secret (hmmmm, wonder where that name came from!) has one of the most popular bras of all time – the push-up bra. Bosoms NEVER go out of style!

Woman wearing a ball gown

The ball gown became popular during the mid-1800s and was the most revealing piece of clothing that women wore: arms and necklines were exposed. Though they often fell to the ankles, they also stayed tight around the waist and torso, then spilled out below the waistline. Wedding gowns followed the same trends as ball gowns, spreading out wide below the waist and wrapping the upper body tightly.

Rear Raisers
Big backsides were another trend that continued throughout the Victorian times. To accentuate this portion of the anatomy, women wore petticoats and bustles. These small cushions were placed in just the right spots to make the rear end stand out and the waist seem smaller. Backsides that were too large, though, used other constrictive clothing to keep the size under control. Once again, another Victorian trend that has surpassed the ages. These days, bottom boosters are more of a permanent thing thanks to plastic surgery and Jennifer Lopez. Of course, padding is a little pricey AND less painful. Larger bottoms are more than a style, they transcend time and are always in.

Victorian era woman wearing a hat.

Hats were useful protection from the sun, but they were also hugely popular fashion accessories. Women’s hats were large, frilly affairs that framed the face with flowers, feathers, ribbons, and so on. Bonnets were popular during the early part of the century, and over time these gave way to wide-brimmed hats that sprouted plume

Stylish woman wearing a hat.

How to Rock a Hat

No matter what kind of hair you have, chances are there are times you want to cover it up with a hat. Maybe you’re having a bad hair day, or maybe it’s winter and you need to keep warm, or maybe it’s summer and you don’t have any hair at all and you need to protect your head from sunburn. No matter what the reason for wearing a hat, there’s no need to worry. Look to none other than the stars that stay on the cutting edge of fashion – from Taylor to Miley and Brad to Liam, they all have unique styles but can really rock a hat. This list will help you rock that hat in style.

Woman wearing a baseball cap.

First of all, we need to think about what season you’re planning on rocking that hat. During the hot months of summer, baseball hats, Panama hats, and other straw or lightweight hats are best. They protect you from the sun while also allowing the heat to escape your head, and any breeze to get in and help cool you down. Conversely, for cooler months you, of course, need to keep the heat in. This is when wool, felt, and other knitted hats come into play. This is purely a functional standpoint, so once you get choose the hat material to match the season, you need to find a style that suits you.

The first step in finding a hat that look great on you is matching the hat shape to the shape of your head and face. For example, if you have a round face, you want to avoid round hats like bowlers, this will surely result in an unintended silly look. Those with round faces should look for hats that are taller, to give the appearance of extending your face, avoid short, round hats at all costs.

If you have a long skinny face, you won’t want to wear a tall hat that only makes your face seem longer. For those with long faces (or large ears), a wide brimmed hat or a larger floppy hat will help camouflage those ears and bring a balance to a long face or a long neck.

Woman wearing a bowlers hat.

For square faces, look for round hats like a bowler or a cloche. They help give the appearance of a rounder face. If you’re lucky enough to have an oval face you can pretty much pull off any shaped hat.

Now that you’ve got the hat material and shape down, you need to choose a color.

For your new hat, you need to think about what season or seasons you will be wearing the hat, and what color that season’s wardrobe is. If it’s a hat you’ll be wearing in the fall and winter, you’ll most likely want to keep your choices limited to duller fall-appropriate colors like gray, black, mauve, and other earth tones. For summer and spring hats, more bright and colorful hats are sure to match with your warm weather outfits.

Woman with Victorian era hairstyleq

Popular Victorian Era Hairstyles

During the time that Queen Victoria ruled England–from 1837 to 1901– the period was referred to as the Victorian Age, mainly due to several unique and prominent elements of both fashion and morals of those days. There was a surge of economic growth, much due to an industrial expansion during that period. In observing the hairstyle protocol of the times, there were progressive changes that occurred during this expanse of time, although, throughout the era, only the more solid, straight-laced values were practiced and tolerated by society.

Sylish man

Men’s Victorian Hairstyles
Generally at the start of the Victorian era and lasting until around 1865, men wore their hair relatively long, while sporting massive moustaches that were carefully formed with waxes, or, conversely, men would sometimes forego the moustache altogether, but wore thick sideburns attached to short beards (think Abraham Lincoln.) This was more of a “puritan” image, well suited for the era.

Cosmetic Instruction of the Day
The then Countess of Landsfeld, Eliza Rosanna Gilbert was a famous dancer who went by the stage name of “Lola Montez.” In 1858, she published a book, “The arts of beauty; or secrets of a lady’s toilet, with hints to gentlemen, on the art of fascinating.” This publication shared various recipes and instruction for beautification, for both women and men–or, “ladies and gentlemen,” as it were. In reading this book, one discovers that the practice of dying hair by women was established at the time, and especially for dyeing gray hair. She includes a detailed recipe for the procedure, which called for components like tincture of sesquichloride of iron, acetic acid and gallic acid, for dying the hair either black or brown. The color variations were achieved by minute changes in the process. It wraps up with advising the woman to finish with oil and brushing.

The Period Coifs of Victorian Women
A most romantic hair effect became the trend during the period from 1840 to at least 1860, where women’s hair would often be gathered at the top of their heads in a chignon, but with hair remaining out of the chignon that would be formed into separate curled locks that fell at either side of the face. Hair would be adorned with all sorts of poetic embellishments, from ribbons, flowers, beautiful ornate hair combs of the day and jewels. The hair was mostly parted in the middle. Toward the latter part of this time, the once top chignons had migrated down to the nape of the neck. Loose curls framing the face continued throughout this time as a very popular effect.

Kate Bosworth with Marcel waves

Everett Collection /

The Marcel Wave
No, this was not a form of greeting that was practiced by Victorians. After 1860, “handmade” curls were quite popular, and were produced by using rags to wrap, wind and tie the hair, and some used metallic hair curlers to “keep” the curls intact during the night while they would sleep, so their hairdo would be good for several days. A French hairdresser named Marcel Grateau invented what was a crude form of the curling iron we now have today. It consisted of heavy tongs that had rounded inside surfaces, and involved one convex side that would be met by a concave side, and when heated by the fire or on the stove and then closed upon a strand of hair, the strand would be waved or would receive the Marcel wave, which was the predecessor of today’s curling iron.

Man with stylish haircut.

Fall Hair Trends for Guys

Generally speaking, when it comes to haircuts and hairstyles, women seem to have an incredibly huge advantage over men, at least in terms of the variety of currently popular trending options from which to choose. This does not mean that guys want, just as much as women, to sport a hairstyle that is unique, in style and gives them a flattering look. There are some good options for guys who are looking to change it up with a different hair look, and what follows are elements to consider. Some are more conservative, or conventional, while others reveal a more artistic, free form expression.

2015 Undercut

The 2015 Undercut
This hairstyle is unique and leaves the long hair at the top of the head. The sides are cut shorter, but the underneath, or undercut is visibly more closely cropped. The longer hair left on top can be styled in different ways, with a popular method being voluminously edgy and spikey–kind of playful and daring. The front effect of this hairstyle involves angled fringing, and the back is cut to purposely add texture. Anyone who is familiar with the matte pomp might recognize the similarity this style shares with it. And by blending in a bit of texturizing product, you can use your blow dryer to create as much height as you like. By using the dryer in styling this hairstyle, you won’t be weighing your hair down with too much product, either. For a good grip on how you can manage this cut at home, get your hair stylist or barber to walk you through it, letting you perform your own drying with their supervision.

The Now Styles Need to Start With a Good Cut
2015 is ushering in Fall hairstyles that reveal more hair, or at least longer lengths than before. And the length is all on top now, styled with a variety of finished looks, featuring waves, twists and accents. Fades are just as big as they ever were, and when created by a good professional, it makes all the difference. The best cuts leave you with having little to do to your hair before heading out, because the pros have techniques that do all the work for you.

Young guy with sexy haircut.

Common Elements of Current Men’s Hair Design
For one thing, men’s hair cutting methods has produced styles that are a lot easier to manage, and have looking top shape. With the basic formula being the starting point of long on top, short sides and back cut, extra effects can be introduced like fades, that can be with or without a razor part. Side parts and vintage pomps are still hot. A good matte product will enable the best “fresh out of bed” look. The best part is that the current men’s hair trends do well on all hair types.

Stylish woman during fall.

Top Fall Accessories to Invest In

As the cold air rears its ugly head into the end of summer, it’s time to start thinking about dressing for the fall season. While there are a ton of great fashion trends this fall from bronze eye shadow to oversized sweaters, we’re going to take a look at how to properly accessorize to match these and other hot fall trends. This has been a banner year for accessories on the catwalks at fashion shows around the world.

Woman wearing pearl bracelet

The Perfect Pearl
While it might be a big investment, one trend that has appeared over and over again this fall is the pearl. Popping up everywhere from earrings, to necklaces, to bracelets, pearls even made their way onto facial jewelry like nose rings and eyebrow piercings. This elegant jewel of the sea looks great with just about anything you wear, and doesn’t have to be hidden away only to be taken out on special occasions. Of course, there are always cheaper options if you don’t want to invest in the real deal, but we won’t talk about that here.

Stylish woman holding a handbag.

Hot Handbags
Small, boxy handbags are trendy this fall and are great accessories that obviously have both form and function. We’ve seen everything from red patent leather to floral patterns, so chose your favorite style and run with it. If you tend to carry more than a small handbag can carry, why not go for a large leather tote bag or a satchel? Both styles of bags have literally been everywhere this fall. Choose one in an autumn influenced color like dark orange or yellow to blend in with the season.

Woman wearing a scarf.

Neck Check
Scarves are another accessory that serve a purpose while also making you look great. Thick wool scarves are in style right now as are striped patterns. You can also choose a thinner material that can be worn as a scarf or a headband.

Woman applying a brooch

Pin It!
Coming as somewhat of a surprise this year, is the comeback of the brooch. Whether pinned to a lapel or worn in the hair, decorative brooches have been seen everywhere recently. Designs are almost endless, so you’re sure to find one to fit your style and taste. Brooches are often passed down as heirlooms, so you might even have one tucked away in a relative’s jewelry box. Now’s the time to pull it out and rock it while it’s still in style.

Woman wearing fur boots.

The Fur Fad
As for shoes and boots, some odd trends have emerged for the fall season, such as fur appearing in strange ways for some very interesting looking fuzzy footwear. If you can pull that off, more power to you, but if you’re more of a traditionalist, go for some utilitarian work boots, or sparkly bedazzled dress shoes, both of which are definitely in style this fall.

Woman getting a hair treatment

Hair Rehab after a Long Summer

The long, hot summer has come to a close — even if the temperatures haven’t dropped all that dramatically just yet. Besides getting out your cable-knit sweaters and knee-high boots, now is the time to take a closer look at your hair and assess what damage the long days at the pool and heat have wrought.

Woman examining split ends.

Trim Dead Ends
The simplest thing you can do to clean up your hair after a season of heat damage is to trim off the dead ends. Split ends will make your hair look frizzy and ratty, and they will dull the finish of your hair. Get a trim that takes off enough length to get all the dead ends. Your hair will feel instantly smoother and less tangled.

Apply a Protein Treatment
Heat is the most damaging element for summer hair. Whether it’s the rays of the sun or the heat from your blow dryer or straight iron, the heat can damage your hair’s cuticle. The result is frizzy hair, broken shafts, and split ends.

You can repair some of the damage with a protein treatment. The treatment will add protein back to the hair shaft to help smooth the cuticle. The treatment usually comes with a deep conditioner, as well, which will help to smooth the hair and restore its shine.

Woman getting a moisturizing hair treatment in a salon.

Give your hair plenty of moisture to help restore its bounce and vibrancy. Use a quality conditioner for every time you wash your hair, and follow up with a good deep conditioner for weekly treatments. You might also consider a professional moisturizing treatment, such as a hot oil treatment. You can find good products at a beauty supply store or salon, or you can ask your hairdresser for recommendations for the right treatment. Also check with a professional salon for a deep conditioning treatment. These pro grade treatments paired with time under heat, can have hair feeling and looking amazing in just one session.

Chlorine Treatment
If you spend most of your time in the pool during the summer, chances are really good that chlorine has built up inside AND outside of the hair shaft. Using a quality chlorine treatment to strip an remove this build up an restore hair to its natural looking color. These treatments can be a little drying and rough on the hair, so make sure to condition well.

Don’t go into fall with hair looking as limp as the leaves on the trees. Takes these steps to restore your hair after a season of damage, and you’ll have healthy, vibrant hair all fall and winter long. You’ll have that gorgeous glow even when the rest of the landscape seems dreary.

Woman before and after blowout

Tips for Super Straight Hair

Natural hairstyle is a classic “the grass is always greener” situation. Those with straight hair often with they had curls, and people with curly hair get frustrated and long for easy straight hair. This is a list of tips for those with straight hair to maintain it, and those looking for a way to obtain it.

Go Alcohol-free!
The first tip is one that everyone should follow: avoid alcohol. Many hair products from mousse to gel contain alcohol, which can leave your hair looking frizzy, dry, and lifeless. A little alcohol is fine, but it the bottle lists it in the top three ingredients, toss it away.

Woman flat ironing her hair

Iron it Out
If you don’t want to go with a perm, the next best option is using a straightening iron. Even those with naturally straight hair can benefit from a little bit of heat for a truly straight look. If you’re new to flat irons you need to make sure you purchase the correct size iron, something that some might overlook. If you have short hair, choose an iron with plates that are between a half an inch and an inch thick. For longer hair, choose on up to two inches thick, allowing you to cover more area at a time for a quicker total ironing session. Also, make sure the iron isn’t too heavy, some cheaper models that weigh a ton will make you feel like you’ve been lifting weights after 10 minutes of straightening your hair.

Make sure you prep your hair before adding any heat to it. There are a TON of fantastic heat protection products that will reduce the damage caused by high heat. Also, make sure never to iron your hair when it’s still wet, and don’t over do it. The flat iron is not an everyday tool. You hair won’t respond well to that much heat everyday and you’ll end with damaged dry hair.

A Perm?
If you have wavy or curly hair, usually the best option to get the straightest look possible is getting a perm. Most people think of perms as going from straight to curly, but they work in reverse as well. Perms are a serious decision though, as the chemicals used in the process can cause more harm than good. It’s best to get a perm only if you have healthy hair. If your hair is damaged from heat, or bleach, or other chemicals, stay away from this option. Even the healthiest hair can appear frizzy and dry after a perm, but you can nurse your hair back to health.

Woman before and after blowout

Brazilian Blow Outs
A pricey, yet effective treatment that actually makes the hair shiny and softer than pretty much any other option on the market. Basically, professional hair smoothing that leaves your hair straight for days, even weeks. Worth every penny, many people swear by these treatments.

Once your hair is straight, there are some things you can do to help maintain your hair and keep it looking great. Try drying your hair upside down to get to your roots, and never sleep with wet hair, that will only lead to knots, cowlicks, and kinks. Also, make sure you’re using products sparingly, and lastly, buy a good ionic hairdryer with temperature control.

Redhead with dark eye makeup

Goth Hair Colors

When you think about goth the first color that comes to mind is probably black, right? While black clothes, hair, makeup, jewelry and other accessories might be the mainstay in goth style, one way you can let your freak flag fly is by changing the color of your hair. Depending on what type of look you’re going for, you can make just about any hair color work with a gothic look. Let’s take a look at some common hair colors and how you can make the rock!

Blonde goth woman

Speaking of contradictions, what better way to contradict the goth look than by sporting Barbie-doll blonde hair? Blonde hair has many negative connotations (think blond jokes) but it is a strong color. It represents happiness and cheerfulness, possibly the greatest contradiction to the black of the goth style. It takes a confident goth to rock the blonde look, but those that can pull it off really make it look great!

What better color to match with black than fire-engine red? Not only does red stand out against black clothing, but it expresses many emotions. Red hair can show anger and rage and evoke the feel of flames, fire, and even vampirish blood! You can also go for a more natural red hair color if bright red is a little too much. This will be less attention-drawing, but will still stand out nicely against a black wardrobe.

Woman with green hair.

Think Poison Ivy, or Frankenstein. Green is the color of money, but it is also the color of balance and harmony, spring, renewal, and growth. It is generally seen as a positive color, evoking pleasant emotions, so it might be a bit contradictory to the goth outlook, but hey, sometimes opposites attract!

The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is generally a calming color, but like red, it contrasts well with black, and a deep dark blue can really look great against a black outfit. Light blue colors won’t work as well, let’s leave that shade for the old women.

Goth woman

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Black it the color of goth, and if you want to stick to an all black theme, you might as well go with black hair as well as black clothes. The good news is almost any hair color can be dyed to dark black.

Whatever color you choose, wear it with confidence!

Woman applying hair conditioner.

Combine Hair Products for the Best Effects

You have a cabinet full of hair products, and they all do something different. If you want sexy waves, you might reach for a texturizing spray. If you want a slick-backed look, you might go for the gel.

While you might get some limited results with these products, you’ll need to think bigger if you want to get healthy, gorgeous hair. You’ll need to address the health of your hair while also manipulating its style.

Woman flat ironing her hair

Here are a few great product combinations you should try to get beautiful hair:

Heat Protectant and Argan Oil
You can’t always tame frizzy hair with some gel and a round brush. Frizzy hair can be the result of damage to the shaft, which you can smooth out with some Argan Oil. The oil will also give your hair a glossy finish that will make the styling look more professional. The combo with the heat protectant helps to prevent further damage from blow drying.

Leave-In Conditioner and Wax
Work pea-sized portions of each of the leave-in conditioner and the wax together, evenly spread throughout damp and air dry. Word to the wise, start at the ends of your hair (or half way down the hair shaft) and work your way up!

Detangler and Voluminizer
You can’t add volume to your hair if you can’t comb through your hair. If you do manage to create volume, you’ll have a tangled mess piled on top of your head. Use the detangler to make your hair easier to brush and to manipulate, and then use the voluminizer to get the height you want. The voluminizer will also enhance your hair’s natural texture.

Dry Shampoo and Voluminizing Hairspray
When you style your hair, you don’t want to wash it every day and go through the entire process again each morning. Yet you don’t want to leave your hair unwashed or else it will become dirty and oily. Dry shampoo helps to keep your hair clean without ruining the style. Voluminizing hairspray can provide a spot fix to breathe new life into a style that’s falling limp.

Volumizing Spray and Texture Wax
Lightly spray “chunks” of damp hair with a volumizing spray – blow dry well, then take these sections and work the texture wax through with your fingers. This creates a great, natural looking hold that won’t get too piecey or too crunchy.

Experiment with some other product combinations to help you find ways to promote the health of your hair while also creating the style you want. These are just a few combinations to help you get started. Take a look at what’s in your beauty cabinet and find other combinations to get new results.

Young girl with bangs

Hairstyles for Back to School

Switching into Back to School mode after a long stretch of more relaxed summer schedules requires a lot more than simply setting your smartphone’s alarm to sound at a significantly earlier time in the morning. There are numerous occasions when everyone seems to take extra time and effort for looking their best, but none more significant than when it comes to preparation efforts for returning to school with a really killing look that will adequately remove any doubts about your advanced fashionista status on everyone’s mind, and sealing the deal for the whole year. And when it comes to the most important aspect of your entire look, it’s got to be your hair.

New Year, New “Do”
There’s never a better time to show up with a fresh new coif than at the start of a brand new school year. Here are some styles for thought in choosing the perfect do for the 2015-2016 school year.

Young woman with braided ponytail.

Cinching the Deal With Braids and Ponytails
For anyone choosing to stick with mid length and longer tresses, one way to jazz it up anytime is by hiding the rubber and elastic bands that are used to gather sleek ponytails securely or to finish off with braids at the ends. Proceed just as you normally would, in securing your braid or ponytail with a clear elastic stretchy band, but then take a small section from the hair to wrap around the band, securing it with a small bobby pin. Luxe, for sure.

Fishtail braid

Fish Tales
The popularity of the Fishtail braiding technique is still huge, and this gorgeous braid is so easy to do, in many ways much easier than conventional three-strand braiding. The Fishtail braid is especially flattering when done off to one side. And while you can easily gather all of your hair up into the braid, a much more softly romantic effect comes from leaving a few random wisps hanging out.

Young girl with ponytail.

Ponying Up
Ponytails are back, or may have never gone that far, but the many ways they’re being worn has expanded, for sure. The Classic, Side, Half Ponytail, Twirled Half and the Layered Ponytail are further open to unique and personal effects by whether you choose to make it look all neat and sleek, or and messy. Straight ponytails are best achieved by first straightening the hair. Messy ponytails are kind of self-explanatory, and actually, messier looks are best achieved (and hold best) the next day, not the same day you wash your hair.

Young girl with pixie cut.

Going Short
The trendy Pixie cut is every bit as popular as ever, with a whole lot of power to give you a variety of looks, from one simple, short cut. You can rock your return to school with a fresh and fringy appearance that is most pronounced in the front, although the cut looks great when you’ve used the right products and methods to get that “just out of bed” texture. You can change up this look with just the right accents, from sparkly barrettes and cute headbands.

Young woman with bangs

She Bangs!
Bangs are back! From wisps to thick, blunt edges, bangs are a fall favorite right now. Tip: Always start with a longer look than you’d like, especially if your hair is wet – you can always cut more but you can’t back track with bangs.