The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

7 portraits matching these criteria:

- subject matching 'Fashion Plates: Activities and occasions - Mourning Dress'
- 'Image on website'

Not found what you are looking for? Try our Advanced search

Mourning dress had traditionally been worn to respect the death of a relative or member of the royal family, but rules regarding women's dress became stricter and more complicated during the Victorian period, before relaxing in the 1890s. Styles were the same as for fashionable dress but colours and fabrics differed. Nothing but black, matt fabrics were worn in deepest mourning, especially crape and bombazine; followed by less crape for second mourning; then black silks, velvets and jet ornaments for ordinary mourning; and finally white, grey and shades of purple for half-mourning.