Explore the fascinating world of the Victorian judges at this award-winning historic house.

Clothes & Shoes

Victorian children's clothes often made them look like miniature adults. Here you can see the 'best' clothes of a little boy and girl, which would have been worn when visitors came to tea, for parties and other social occasions. The girl's dress is made of velvet and taffeta, whilst the boy's suit has gleaming glass buttons made to look like diamonds. Families with less money could sew their own children's clothes using the cloth from adult 'hand-me-downs'. The two pairs of shoes show those of a rich and poorer girl. The patent leather boots are soft, with thin soles held on by tiny nails. The poorer girl would need much more hard-wearing footwear, with wooden soles and metal 'shoes' tacked on.

In the classroom:  

Look at the clothes. What are they made of? Do you think they belonged to rich or poor children? Why are there not many clothes left from Victorian times which were worn by poor children? Look at the shoes: which pair belonged to a rich girl and which to a poor girl? What are they made of? Do they look comfortable? What is the wooden ruler for? Do you have some clothes or shoes that you keep for 'best'?


children's clothes
children's shoes

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