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The Victorian period (1837-1901) was a time where women displayed their husband’s success by dressing in the finest clothing. The men didn’t shy away from fashion donning stellar top hats and three-piece suits. Wealth also acted as temptation for those without. BBC America’s Ripper Street premieres on Saturday, January 19th at 9/8c with the police force dressed to the nines. But, of course, their keen eye is on the threat of Jack the Ripper. Lets take a peek at some other popular TV series/mini-series based in Victorian England.

1) Ripper Street, TV Series, 2013

The police force shows up dressed to kill. (BBC America)

Who: Jerome Flynn (Sergeant Bennet Drake); Matthew Macfayden (Inspector Edmund Reid); Adam Rothenberg (Captain Homer Jackson)
When: 1889
What’s Up: The ornamental chain attached to the pocket watch is called a fob.

2) The Paradise, TV Series, 2012

The shop keeper is in the know on all the new trends. (BBC)

Who: Joanna Vanderham (Denise)
When: 1849-1858
What’s Up: Ostrich feathers were commonly used as decoration.

3) Cranford, TV Mini-series, 2007

Victorian headgear would come in handy when having a bad hair day. (BBC)

Who: Lisa Dillon (Mary Smith); Eileen Atkins (Miss Deborah Jenkyns); Dame Judi Dench (Miss Matty Jenkyns); Imelda Staunton (Miss Octavia Pole)
Approximately 1864-1689
What’s Up:
The interior of the straw bonnet is lined to cover any raw edges for protection.

4) Fingersmith, TV Series, 2005

You may need a pal to get out of this contraption. (BBC)

Who: Elaine Cassidy (Maud Lilly); Sally Hawkins (Sue Trinder)
When: 1862
What’s Up: The bustle cage is called a crinoline.

5) North & South, TV Mini-series, 2004

The higher the hat the closer to god. (BBC)

Who: Daniela Denby-Ashe (Margaret Hale); Richard Armitage (John Thornton)
What’s Up:
 Top hats are made of felt that is placed on a block of wood, then steamed and pressed to make the shape of the rigid crown.

6) The Forsyte Saga, TV Mini-series, 2002

Men dressed up even when relaxed behind closed doors. (PBS)

Who: Damian Lewis (Soames Forsyte); Gina McKee (Irene Forsyte); Ioan Gruffudd (Phillip Bosinney)
When: 1906-1921
What’s Up: The blazer (seen right) was introduced in the 1890s.

7) The Way We Live Now, TV Mini-series, 2001

If you buy the frock your dance card will be sure to fill up. (BBC)

Who: Paloma Baeza (Hetta Carbury); Cillian Murphy (Paul Montague)
When: 1872
What’s Up: In the 1850s men started wearing shirts with pointy collars.

8) Wives and Daughters, TV Mini-Series, 1999

Apparently there was a three-for-one sale at the hair salon. (BBC)

Who: Justine Waddell (Molly Gibson); Keeley Hawes (Cynthia Kirkpatrick); Francesca Annis (Hyacinth Gibson)
When: 1864-1866
What’s Up: Upper class women would have a special maid to fix their hair; it become more common to visit hair salons later in the period.

9) David Copperfield, TV Movie, 1999
Even the wee ones were quite accessorized. (BBC)
Who: Daniel Radcliffe (Young David Copperfield) 

What’s Up: Ties were also known as cravats and could be tied like an ascot or bow as seen here.

10) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, TV Series, 1984

It’d be a crime to dress any less dapper. (iTV)

Who: Jeremy Brett (Sherlock Holmes); David Burke (Dr. Watson)
When: 1891-1892
What’s Up: Men were expected to wear a coat, hat and vest at all times in public.

Has this inspired you to head out to the vintage store? 
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By Brigid Brown