May Morning, Jane Morris, by J. Robert Parsons.
Morris is shown here in an unadorned heavily draped silk dress with long sleeves and minimal accessories, all typical of aesthetic fashion.
Aesthetic dress was a protest against the contemporary fashion for bustles and restrictive corsets of the 19th century. The trend was started by the Pre-Raphaelites and was mostly concentrated to a small community of middle class intellectuals, artistic and literary people.
Aesthetic fashions were mostly made of wool, Liberty silk or velvet, the dresses were cut looser and unstructured in the style of medieval or Renaissance garments. Corset free women were not only "loose waisted" but also considered to have loose morals and many of the Aesthetic women were thought slightly Bohemian and beyond normal social conventions and morals of the time.