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Good news, Edwardians! You can dress for this event, and have a great time doing so. One of the key successes of our event is that we do not have a dress code, no kind of look or fashion is “right” or required. Our only request — and please, this we beseech of you — is that you dress up in some manner, step out of your ordinary life, and join the celebration! For some this might mean an elaborate, hand-made gown or corset. For others it might be a playful hat or twirly mustache. Or that fancy pair of knickers and boots. And there’s always your basic, elegant black…

Begin planning whatever you'll wear with pieces from our delightfully creative vendors
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Victorian influenced leather apparel and whimsical accessories for the exquisite, unusual and bold.

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A Guide to Dressing for The Edwardian Ball

By Autumn Adamme, founder and creative director of Dark Garden 


The Edwardian Ball is coming to town! It's an amazing, delightful, awe inspiring, rip-roaring good time, but begs a very important question - What should you wear??


Firstly, let's discuss the Edward in Edwardian. This Edward isn't a stuffy English king but instead one of the most prolific, weirdly inspired, and talented author/illustrators of the 20th century; Edward Gorey. 


Best known for The Gashly Crumb Tinies and the opening credits of PBS's Mystery series, Mr. Gorey drew bizarre creatures, told tragic tales, and taught us the alphabet in a darkly amusing manner. His ladies were often wan and veiled, his gentlemen top hatted and clad in bearskin coats and always inhabit a world drawn in black and white. 


But still, what should *you* wear?For inspiration will you look to Edward Gorey's favorite eras, the 1890s to 1920s? Will you be a corseted lady, a starving urchin, a brute in a bowler, a decadent flapper, or cross dressing, mustachioed twins? Or perhaps recreate a character from one of his alphabet lessons...B is for Basil, assaulted by Bears...?


The Edwardian Ball has been running in San Francisco for 22 years, evolving and expanding in extravagance and creative expression every year. The costumes and clothing worn by guests has often matched that of the performers in complexity and audacity. Above all, think of this event as an opportunity to express your own creativity, to wear something you might not wear anywhere else. 

Have a look here for more fashion forward ideas and inspirations...

And remember, any a time we've overheard people saying they'd love to attend but don't have an impressive enough outfit to wear. Well good news, dear Edwardians! There is no dress code, no requirements, no "right" way to outfit yourself, no "correct" era, style, or design. What is important is your enjoyment and participation. And that means you need only dress up in a way that is fun and fitting for you! Whether considering costume, character, or just a whimsical accessory, the key is that you feel like you are dressing for a special night, not just an everyday experience. For some this may be an elaborate, historical costume, head-to-toe with detail. Others may draw from Edward Gorey illustrations. And for some, it just means a playful hat, twirly mustache, fancy knickers, or that lovely pair of boots you've been saving for an occasion. Don't let fashion keep you from enjoying and being part of The Edwardian Ball. Just dress up to have fun, and come inspire (and be inspired!) by those around you. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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