Fashions From The Elegant 1800's

Created on May 12, 2016 by Kathy Pinna
Bustles, crinolines, corsets, and, by the end of the century, leg o' mutton sleeves. When everyday photography began in the 1850's, the silhouettes for women were big (sometimes too big to get through doorways!) below the waist and fitted above the waist. Take a look at some of these amazing dresses (and fabrics) from the 1850's - 1890's.

Did you know? Charles Frederick Worth, an Englishman who began designing in 1858 Paris, is considered the father of haute couture. He designed dresses for many of the rich and famous (including royalty) and widely influenced fashion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of his surviving dresses are seen below.

Fashions From The Elegant 1800's

Music Hall performer

Lottie Collins 1892

This is Lottie Collins, a music hall performer, in 1892. Obviously, she's wearing a corset.

Charles F. Worth design

Charles Frederick Worth dress, 1888

This is a dress made by the "Father of Haute Couture," Charles Frederick Worth, in 1888 for a woman being presented at the Russian Court. The overlay is green velvet and the dress and embroidery are silver.

Alice Vanderbilt

Alice Vanderbilt

Another Charles Worth design in the late 1800's.


Godey's Magazine, December 1861

Godey's Magazine Fashions December 1861

Godey's showed women what was fashionable. They then copied the designs.

James J. & Bridget Noone Bolton O'Neill

Circa 1865, this woman wrote on the back of the photo that her dress was "blue, very blue"!


Alice Sanders Elliott

As you may see by now, 1800's dressing was all about the details and the fabric.

Princess Elisabeth of Saxony

Princess Elisabeth of Saxony

Royals' dresses were a little fancier, but you see the same basic style.


President Woodrow Wilson’s wife, 1887

Edith Bolling Galt Wilson

Sallie Laura Tate 1864-1925

This is probably from the 1860's or '70's.

Leah Jones

1899 - big sleeves, less skirt

All those embellishments!

Isabel Cuen
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