Easy-to-Do 1900s Costumes

Updated April 17, 2017

Dress in the 1900s was often complex, including plenty of ruffles, lace, and intricate accessories typical of the turn of the century. If you want to dress in a 1900s costume for a party, for the theatre, or for Halloween, there are some ways to recreate these outfits without breaking the budget. With some creativity, you can easily put together a basic 1900s era costume.

Victorian Woman

You can create the costume of a wealthy woman in the 1900s by customising a dress from a thrift shop. Look for a dress with a long skirt and full sleeves, then add embellishments to give it the turn of the century look. Ruffle and lace along the neck and wrists works well, and a head dress made of a headband with feathers glued on adds a nice touch.

Noble Gentleman

A wealthy man's costume from the 1900s is easy to make, particularly if you have a tuxedo. Wear a bow tie with the tux and add a monocle and pocket watch from a thrift store. If you don't have a tuxedo, wear your best suit with a top hat or bowler hat. Many turn-of-the-century coats had long tails, and gentlemen often walked with dignified walking sticks or canes.

Peasant Woman

A prairie or peasant costume is appropriate for the 1900s era, and can be adapted to either the peasants of Europe or the prairie women of the American west. In either case, wear a long brown skirt and a plain button up shirt. Add a wide belt and a shawl around the shoulders for a prairie woman, or add a simple bonnet to be a peasant. Don't forget to pull your hair back in a bun or low braid, as was the fashion.


A simple man's costume from the 1900s can be as simple as tan trousers, a white shirt and a brown vest. You can add a cowboy hat or bowler hat, depending on your tastes, and maybe a toy gun worn at the hip. Or, add props like a rake or a sack of hay to show off the farmer aspect of the costume.

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