Caroler costumes you buy today, are now replicated versions of the traditional Victorian caroling clothing.
Perhaps this can be attributed to the popularity of the Dickens Christmas carol tale and the associated clothing in the story.
In any event, there were two distinct styles of winter clothing for both men and women in the early nineteenth century.
There was the more formal dress reserved for social events and everyday clothing the general public used for the purpose of keeping warm in bitter cold winter months.
The women wore classic full length skirts with accompanying blouses featuring soft lace on the top and down the sleeve.
The blouse style had a high collar, long barrel cuffs and a tapered waist.
The sleeves had a puff top and a gathered back.
These were usually white in color as was the lace adorning the shirt.
They had delicate buttons down the front also in white.
For winter outings in the cold, formal wear for women usually included a matching short lined jacket to compliment their skirts.
It often was of the same material and considered a suit.
These jackets had wide lapels, puffy sleeves and narrow cuffs.
To tie the skirt and jacket together making a suit, both were often adorned with the same bric-a-brac.
If one were not as well to do to afford a suit, the usual skirt and blouse were covered with a thick wool shawl that protected them from the cold, along with the proper footwear, hat and gloves.
The men's proper formal attire consisted of dark pinstriped trousers some with buttons for suspenders.
This was topped with the traditional pullover band collar shirt with a detachable collar and a stud to secure the collar together at the front.
Men's shirt were traditionally white with a fasten up partial placket with small buttons.
The men's dress could not be complete for formal occasions without a vest.
This was the one piece of clothing that was given to color in the wardrobe.
The vests were usually bright vivid paisleys with fancy shawl collars that could either come single or double breasted.
The more formal frock coat was usually made of wool.
This long coat was commonly dark in color and featured 2 front flap pockets and a long lapel with two buttons.
This would have been accessorized with a top hat and smart boots.
The more common winter coat would have been a shorter town coat of wool and complimented with a wool tweed cap to keep warm.
Victorian carolers costumes also represent these two differences in attire.
If you are buying a costume to be part of a caroling group, make sure that you have all decided which of the two images of Dickens Christmas carol costumes you want to portray.
That way your total image will be consistent in fashion.
If you are buying a caroling costume for a stage play or social event, again make sure whether you want the more formal dress or everyday dress.
Each will convey a different social situation.
Make sure the accessories you purchase to compliment your costume are also consistent in style with the costume that you are purchasing.