Displays of wealth – accessories in Victorian Britain

University of Glasgow Library Blog

A post by Jennifer Sweetapple, Masters student on the University’s Art History: Dress & Textile Histories programme. 

The Victorian era featured the rise of the new middle class, a social circle between the bourgeois and poverty that acted as a wealthy working-class, but without women needing to work to help finance the household.  These were the women who shopped for luxury goods at department stores and paid strict attention to social standard and status symbols to keep themselves as part of high society.

The Army & Navy Co-operative Society Ltd catered to this social class, selling necessities such as groceries but also accessories that acted as a sign of opulence.  Circulars from their stores indicate what they sold and what could be afforded by those who shopped there.  While they competed with other London department stores, Army & Navy was initially for military families only, and whilst it was never…

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2 thoughts on “Displays of wealth – accessories in Victorian Britain

  1. Hi Chris! If you’re ever interested in reading more about historical fashion through various periods, check out my master-post “Historical Fashion, Make-Up, & Hair Styles.” It’s a detailed archive of references categorized by time period, country, and gender. (I hope you don’t mind, but after seeing this post I added the original content address to the post. Please let me know if you want credit for it all the same.)

    Liked by 1 person


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