According to Yaffa Claire Draznin's book, Victorian London's Middle-Class Housewife: What She Did All Day, the Victorian housewife was stylish yet "proper".
A Quick Portrait of the Victorian Housewife:
~ 5 ft. tall, or shorter, and full-figured
~ fashionable, with long, curled hair, pinned up
~ properly attired in long dresses and bustle gowns
~ married at age 25, on average
~ mother of six children, on average
~ often an employer of a housemaid (or two) and a cook
~ a savvy consumer~ a physical laborer who worked her fingers to the bone!