4 Reasons You Wouldn’t Want to Be Fashionable in 19th Century London

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It wasn’t until recent years that history intrigued me. There are two things about it that catches my attention, the beauty of the past and the humbling of history’s often dire circumstances. Today I share a little about both. We begin in 19th century London, where FX Networks’ Taboo takes place. I must note that although this post is sponsored by FX Networks, the content and opinions stated here are my own.


I love a good comeback story, however this ones gets sinister…

Set in 1814, Taboo follows James Keziah Delaney, a man who has been to the ends of the earth and comes back irrevocably changed. Believed to be long dead, he returns home to London from Africa to inherit what is left of his father’s shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself. But his father’s legacy is a poisoned chalice, and with enemies lurking in every dark corner, James must navigate increasingly complex territories to avoid his own death sentence. Encircled by conspiracy, murder and betrayal, a dark family mystery unfolds in a combustible tale of love and treachery.

Tune in to Taboo FX Premier on January 10th to see Taboo’s storyline unfold. Learn more and watch trailers on FX Networks’ Taboo website. As well as enter the Taboo Diamond Giveaway where contestants can win their own collection of diamonds!

With the darkness that surrounded London at this time, I’d like to share the not so beautiful side of 19th Century fashions with you.


Why You Wouldn’t Want to Be Fashionable in 19th Century London

  • Constricting Corsets: the waist trainers of that time are nothing like we see today. Unlike your typical Instagram waist trainer, these corsets were tedious. With no way of getting one on by yourself, you needed assistance. This made it prominent amongst the wealthy. To mildly describe these corsets, they were like shoelaces for your waist, with exceptional amount of squeezing to get you into them. A clenched and barely breathing waist along with breasts propped up to the max sound quite soring!

19th century fashion corset


  • Crinoline, Crinolettes, and Bustles: I call these the cage slip and booty pop. They’re the weird undergarments that prop your dress to make it look like your butt is perched up high and floating. Think Cinderella’s evil sisters at the ball. I’m all for looking glamorous but I don’t understand how there is glamour in wearing any puzzling contraption that looks like layers of equipment under a dress. To me the whole point of wearing a dress is to feel swanky and comfortable, not additionally constricted while bumping into everything.
  • Arsenic Gowns: there are exhibits that look at the dark side of fashion, showcasing gowns made of toxic dyes. In order to get the rich colors in luxurious fabric, there was a process in which fabrics contained highly flammable materials. It’s sad when the only way to get these beautiful colors is for the gowns to be dipped in poison. Treacherous!

19th century fashion spyglass

  • The Shoes! Awful Shoes!: 19th Century shoes were unpleasant and uncomfortable. They were constructed with a chunky, slanted heel and custom embroidery. This custom embroidery, at times gorgeous, was often made by hand and very specific in detail. Ugly is usually associated with comfort but not in this case. On top of all the drama and dire circumstances in 19th century London (tune in to learn more) women had to walk around in ghastly looking shoes.

19th century spyglass fashion shoes

It doesn’t get any darker than that. It seems way too complicated and painful for me! Far from simplicity, far from enjoyable. But on the bright side of things, there was always the jewels. That’s why FX Network is having an exclusive giveaway, with three different chances to win $3,000 worth of diamonds.

Thank you for stopping by and don’t forget to delve into the dark and intriguing world of Taboo on January 10th.




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