Why Victorian Green Was a Killer Look… Literally!

Why Victorian Green Was a Killer Look… Literally!

I’ve heard of suffering for style, but this is flat-out ridiculous! In the Victorian Era (roughly 1837-1901), emerald green dresses could kill not only the woman wearing them but others in the vicinity. So why was the Victorian green trend popular? And why was it so deadly?

The emerald or Victorian green shade was achieved by dying the fabric with an arsenic-laced dye that could lead to organ failure. The amount of arsenic used was enough to kill the wearer and roughly 20 other innocent bystanders. Ignorance might excuse this behavior, but women willingly wore the fabric even after information spread. No wonder these women were known as “killing creatures.”

Find out more in the video below, like why the Victorian green dye smelled so bad and why the fabric wasn’t outlawed!

Pretty hurts, but can fashion kill? It sure could back in the Victorian era, when a much-desired dress dye was actually highly poisonous. Even when the word started to spread, Victorian fashionistas didn’t immediately abandon the poisonous dye, and an unknown number of illnesses and deaths were the result. Of course, the manufacturers weren’t ignorant of this toxic effect, but for various reasons continued to use the dye. Today, we’d never use rat poison to make our clothes pretty, at least we think we wouldn’t (hindsight, of course, is 20/20). This is how green Victorian dressed killed those wearing them.

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