Victorian “Don’ts”: Advice to Women | Meredith Sweetpea


Miss Meredith Sweetpea came across a charming and poetic list of Victorian “don’ts” listed as “Advice to women in the 1890s.” I wonder how many of these apply today?

Advice to Women in the 1890s

  • Victoria-lady-with-shawlDon’t adopt the latest mode.
  • Don’t trail your dress upon the road.
  • Don’t ever lace your waist too tightly.
  • Don’t wear a glove or boot unsightly.
  • Don’t wear a thing that needs repair.
  • Don’t, please, forget to brush your hair.
  • Don’t ever wear too large a check.
  • Don’t show too much of snowy neck.
  • Don’t paint the lilies and roses on your face, fair maiden.
  • Don’t have windows in your gloves and stockings where they were never intended to be.
  • Don’t think the love your tiny waist wins will wash; because it won’t.
  • Don’t think because your neighbor’s bonnet is becoming to her, it will necessarily be becoming to yourself.
  • Don’t go in for quantity so much as quality in dress. One well-made gown is worth half a dozen ill-fitting ones.
  • Don’t neglect the accessories of dress; untidy gloves, unshapely shoes, will destroy the effect of the most charming toilette.
  • Don’t, above all things, forget you are a woman; she is far more attractive when seen in the flowing draperies that centuries of use have made their own, than when masquerading as a man.
  • Don’t buy hats at the expense of boots.
  • Don’t buy in haste and repent at leisure.
  • Don’t ignore the conventional, and torture your friends with “a style of my own.”
  • Don’t wear dead rats round your throat, though it be the fashion.
  • Don’t neglect the neat tying of a veil.
  • Don’t put your gloves on in the street.
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