Sunday, August 3, 2014

1800's Clothing- The Shrinking Waist!

"Back in the day" and I am going way back, ladies were mostly of a small stature. This is evident in the clothing that has been curated. I have gowns and jackets with waists as small as 13" for an adult.

Ladies clothing was typically floor length for the entire day. It was scandalous for ladies to show their ankles or legs!

It was fashionable to have the smallest waist measurement possible. Many ladies cinched their waist so tightly that they would faint. Thus, the term "Fainting Couch" and smelling salts were always handy.

Jackets had metal stays and many hooks and brackets to ensure an hourglass figure. They was a lot of pain to be fashionable.

Dresses were fashioned in America by the Parisian influence. Lush fabrics, beautiful soutaches, buttons, jewels and fancies adorned the gowns.

Underneath it all, the ladies wore cotton pantaloons, crinolines, slips, chemises and camisoles. Pantaloons could have wide open crotches for ease in using the facilities. During the the mid 1860's the gowns all had generous hoops. Some of the crinolines were even made of a steel framed cage.

Many of the gowns had fabric inside the hem area to protect the hems while walking outdoors on dusty and wet streets. Walking and visiting gowns were mostly of durable fabrics and of dark colors.
I will feature a few pieces from that period. I hope you have enjoyed a few tid bits of information from this period in time.


My sister and I have a vast collection of gowns from the 1800- 1930's. More photos are available upon request. We only have a few on our sites for sale right now. More to come.

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