The 1800's were a very interesting time period for fusion of both men and woman. Throughout the entire 1800's fashion keep changing dresses getting fluffier and more extravagant than by the end of the 1800's becoming tighter and more vibrantly colored.
History of women's clothing in the 1800's, the most popular piece of fashion for women were silk gowns and dresses they resemble night gowns usually white because of popularity. The material used for this dress were lightweight fabrics with embroidery as the details the desired effect for this dress was simplicity. From 1810 to 1820 dresses of this time period had the same shape as the silk gowns but made with firmer material. Theses dresses had slightly more color choices like cream, or a light blue. Although it kept the same shape as the silk gowns they had fuller sleeves at the shoulder and skirt hems were also made to be somewhat wider.
1820-1830 during the romantic era clothes became complex and more structured. Simplicity was no longer the desired effect but instead extremely decorated. This dress has wide shoulder putting emphasis on the sleeves, the dresses were filed with color, print and ornamentation. The waistline of the dress lower greatly to be used with a wide belt, pelisses and Spencer jackets were the most popular outerwear worn for warmth with these dresses. 1830-1840 during this time the first Gigot or Leg O’ mUtton sleeves appeared these sleeves were incredible big sleeves usually from shoulder to the elbow then from there to the wrist normal. The neckline of the dress became wider, the waistline was the same but the bodice started taking more a a “V” shape. Pelisses and Spencer jackets were no longer as useful because of this new jackets, the sleeves were so big and difficult to cram into the jackets, so people stopped wearing them and started wearing cloaks instead. These cloaks became popular along with chemisettes which are similar to undershirts but had frills and were attractive they were supposed to be seen and made of these dresses because of the low neckline.
1840-1850 after that romantic era came the Gothic era, Gigot or Leg O’ mUtton sleeves were no more and became fitted sleeves instead and the shoulder line were lowered below the actual shoulder line. This dress was the complete opposite of the romantic era dresses, they extended to the floor instead of the ankle, high neck inline instead of low ones although they were worn low during the evening. The silhouette of the dress was rounded which demanded many petticoats. Colors moved to darker tones and solid fabrics. A bit later skirts became fuller along with bodices causing a more cone like silhouette. 1850-1860 the cage crinoline or hoop was the newest fashion trend to make skirts even bigger than they were during the 40's to 50's. Women preferred the hoop to the dozens of petticoats because it was lighter and did not make life as difficult as the petticoats did (washing etc.) Women of all social classes were wearing these cage crinolines ladies, maids, and middle class women and girls. Cloaks stayed fashionable because they were the only outerwear that could cover the triangular silhouette. 1860-1870 The regular round hoop turned into an oval hoop in 1864 creating the first bustle which put emphasis on the back part of the dress. The waistline became shorter but the dropped shoulder lines stayed the same, the sleeves were fitted at the wrist but had more room by the elbow. To put more emphasis on evening dresses with wide necklines people used Bertha collars they were doily like made out of pleated fabric, lace and ruffles. The fabric used for the dresses were usually lightweight like wool or silk, dresses tend to be made of only on fabric and lace trimming.
1870-1880 in the early 1870's the shoulder line went back to its original and natural place, the newest trend was a cuirass bodice that gave more of a hourglass figure shape. There were day bodices and evening bodices day bodices had high necklines and fitted sleeves with ruffled cuffs at the wrist. Evening bodices had a new look which was three quarter length sleeves and a square neckline. Fabrics used for these dresses were light colored and lightweight like silk, light wool and cotton. A new outerwear was needed because of the shape of the new bustle so three quarter coats and dolman mantels became popular.
1880-1890 in 1883 the bustle was in popular demand but this time it was worn and shaped differently, it was placed lower than it originally was and had a narrow width. Because of the bodice dresses were sturdier and were being produced with heavier fabrics like velvet or satin but cotton and linen were used for the summer. Colors were darker some example are navy blue, bottle green, wine red and black. During this time tight, constrictive corsets were worn under long boned bodices, which also had tight sleeves and high necks. The shape this outfit gave women defined their torso greatly, their shape could never be unnoticed, these dresses could weigh from 15 to 20 pounds. The skirts were pleated and draped with an apron like front and a trained back meaning it was long and out touch the floor. 1880-1890 by 1889 the bustle began to fade but the garters at the back of the skirt was still popular in clothing styles so it stayed. With the ending of the bustle came the growing of sleeves and the hourglass shape, the sizes of the slaves were as big as they were in the 1830's and 1840's the skirts were flared and circular they were also not as big as the ones in the last three decades. Emphasis on the waist was important in order to get the hourglass shape intended for the dresses. In the 1890's the silhouettes of the dress started slimming down and so were the sleeves and skirts that were more fitted than flared.
In pride and prejudice clothing can be seen as a sign of wealth, Mrs. Bennet comment on Mr. Bingley's sisters saying their dresses were the most extravagant they had ever seen. A Person's wealth can clearly be seen through what someone wears and what kind of materials the clothing is made of. Same thing would go for men, men's typical clothes consisted of breeches which were either knee length like shorts or ankle length like pants, hats, cravats and wigs were popular for men to wear, pantaloons which were just pants. For the tops they wore coats with tails, regular dress shirts with either pleated cuffed or ruffled cuffs, waist coats, and greatcoats which were usually made of fur or velvet (heavy fabrics). For footwear what was popular for men wear boots wellington boots had a low back and high front and hessian boots had tassels and designs stitched into the top part of the boot. The reason I chose the topic of fashion is because I love clothes and shoes, so learning about clothing from another time period and seeing what our fashion of today evolved from was a very interesting thing to research. I personally think women clothing was the most fascinating because of how different the fashion used to be, the extravagant dresses, the change of color preferences over the years, the petticoats and corsets. That compared to men's clothing is amazing because you can look back at men's fashion and see comparisons to now (for the most part) unlike women's clothing when we seem to have taken a strange turn into the fashion of today.
“1890 To 1900.” Vintage Fashion Guild, vintagefashionguild.org/fashion-timeline/1890-to-1900/. Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.
Enkirch, B. “Romantic .” Romantic - Clothing Fashion Costumes Made to Measure - Atelier Gandiva, www.historical-costumes.eu/en/07_romantic.html. Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.
Jennings, Danielle. “Men's 1800's Wear.” LoveToKnow, LoveToKnow Corp, mens-fashion.lovetoknow.com/Mens_1800's_Wear. Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.