Ladies’ Fashions

Group of womenWomen’s clothing did change over the course of the 19th Century, although skirts remained long.  The slim-lined empire gown of the early 1800s gave way to full-skirted, flounced dresses by the 1850s. In general, matrons wore more tailored clothing in deeper hues, while unmarried young women dressed in softer-designed pastels. Hoops came into vogue just before the Civil War, and were worn until the 1870s when tighter skirts with bustles became popular, despite the fact that this style made walking difficult. Toward the end of the century women’s clothing became more practical, when skirts and blouses and two-piece suits consisting of a fitted bodice over a loose skirt were every-day favorites.


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