What's under the hoop, or crinoline? This architectural feature of women's clothing of the mid-19th century was an engineering marvel!


See the Crinoline Revealed.



Click photo for detailed view.



Click photo for detailed views.


 By the end of the 19th century, European and American ladies could choose from more than a hundred fashion publications which told them what to wear and how to look well-dressed. This gown is from a French fashion periodical with the fashions slanted to appeal to English and American women.

Not only the French designs, but also the delineator (Butterick), show a combination of print and geometric designs in the mid 1890s. Twelve to 16 year-olds were considered to be young ladies, and are dressed as their older sisters, except for the length of the petticoat and skirt. All shades of blue and brown, with the exception of the very palest shades, were popular for autumn wear, but green, dark red, and gray were also worn. Trimming on one side of the bodice was also popular. Sleeves were longer for streetwear and trimmed above the wrists. Skirts were made with less drapery. Feathers, birds and ribbons were all employed to decorate winter hats, and aigrettes (a headress with a long tuft of feathers and often a spray of gems) were higher and fuller. The hair was worn high on top of the head.

Click photo for detailed views.



Click photo for detailed views.