The Late Victorian Era was humming with activity as the Industrial Revolution hit full stride, bringing revolutionary technologies and mass-produced products to market.
The manner in which people worked and lived was forever altered, mostly for the better, and these advancements included electric sewing machines in factory settings providing access to ready-to-wear fashion.
These days, couples in Western countries usually date casually — though online matchmaking has recently changed the face of dating and courtship dramatically — but traditionally, there were formal courtship rituals that evolved over the ages.
However, towards the end of the period, the less restrictive Aesthetic style began to emerge.
With clothing being manufactured in factories and sold via department stores and mail-order catalogue, there was no longer a need to have men's clothing expensively tailored or sewn at home.
Now, nearly every man could stock a respectable wardrobe without forking over his whole paycheck - although the wealthiest gentlemen and aristocracy did continue demand custom tailored garments for superior fit and exclusivity.
The emphasis was on passion and romance; we still talk about a man being chivalrous when he holds open a door for a woman or helps her into a car (or onto a horse).
Chastity and honor were the virtues of the day for women in the Middle Ages.