Coat Fitted into the waist, full knee-length skirts, single-breasted,  large collar, wide revers, wool cloth, velvet collars.
Waistcoat Fitted, single-breasted, collar and revers, shawl collars, welt pockets, silk or matching coat.
Trousers Gathered from waist, narrow  legs, strapped under the instep, plain wool cloths, later checked cloths.
Shirt High collar points, pleated fronts, fine linen.
Colour Dark colours, Black, blue,  grey, brown; pale colours for trousers, or black or coloured checks.
Accessories Top hats with tall crown  stocks, cravats, bow ties, pocket handkerchiefs, gloves, ankle-boots, boots , walking canes.

1848: Brown wool cape with wide lapels over a dark brown tail coat and ecru-coloured waistcoat.  Ecru and brown checked wool trousers, with ecru spats. Yellow leather gloves and tan hat.    *


1849:  Formal evening wear. Claw hammer tail coat and blue and white waistcoat. Stand up collar, white cravat, and black bow tie. Note that the sleaves are slightly belled.   *



This is a reproduction outfit in a style that was fashionable between 1844 and 1850. The inspiration for this gown came from several original fashion plates the diamond decoration arranged "en tablier" (like an apron) was very fashionable and appears in a number of different plates. At this time it was fashionable for young girls to show their draws below the gown this fashion lasted until the 1860s.

By the time a girl was 14 or15 the hem of the skirt would drop, and length of the draws would recede; one would no longer view the  pretty lace cuffs at the ankle.








1840 - 1868: Gothic to Crinoline

Skirts: straight panels to 1863 when goring of front panels create a triangular shape and a backward shift. Gauging introduced in the 1840s and is used with gathering and pleating to control fullness. Box pleats used in the 1860s. From about 1865 there is hardly any fullness in the waist, the skirt size controlled by gores. Fullness is controlled by petticoats until the invention of wire hoops in 1856. Skirts are fairly plain for day wear in the 1840s, ruffles and layers in the 1850s, and surface decoration in the 1860s. Walking dresses in the 1860s which loop up to reveal fancy petticoats.

Skirts in the 1840s mostly have only the hem lined up to knee level. This can also occur in the ‘50s and ‘60s, but they can also be lined throughout. Hems in the 50s and ‘60s often have binding on the edge to protect from wear.

Bodices: long waisted and fan fronted in the 1840s. Fan front can occur in the ‘50s and early ‘60s. Normal level waist in the 1850s through to the early ‘60s, then it rises around 1865. Back fastening usual, but front fastening does occur, with hooks and eyes until about 1850. Front fastening more common in 1850s, and sees the use of buttons on female dress, mostly small in size. Evening dress is always back fastening. Round and scoop neckline in the 1840s. V- neckline fashionable in the early 1850s worn with a chemisette (chemisettes also worn earlier). Round neck for day in the ‘50s and ‘60s and scoop for evening. Some separate skirts and bodices in ‘50s and ‘60s. Armhole slightly off the shoulder, more extreme in the early 1860s. All bodices are interlined with boning at CF, front darts and side seams. Main seams and edges piped.

Sleeves: tight bias cut sleeves in the early 1840s, then funnel or bell shaped in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, getting progressively larger towards the 1860s ( 1848 - 1863).

2 piece coat sleeve from 1863 which gets tighter towards 1868.

Evening sleeves are short. In the 1840s, some day sleeves are short, especially for young girls.

Deborah V. McKeown 1997