19th Century Fashion

This information mostly comes from the San Jose State University website.

General characteristics of fashion:

  • Women wore corsets and framework underskirts
  • Men dressed relatively somberly

So restrictive that they damaged women's health. They would always accentuate the hips, but would alternately emphasize and flatten breasts according to the latest fashion.


A pelisse is defined as a long mantle of silk, velvet, cloth, or other material, reaching to the ankles, and having arm-holes or sleeves. For women. Fashionable around 1815.

Woman's Walking Dress



Worn by men and women "from the French corruption of "riding coat." Originally a fitted, double-breasted man's coat with wide flat cuffs and collar, it was adopted in the 1780s by "scruffy chic" French men to express their admiration of all things English, particularly the government. The word "riding coat" turned into "redingote", and the garment was then exported back to England, where it was incarnated as a long, fitted woman's coat, belted and open in the front to show off the skirt of the dress underneath."
woman's redingote: http://gallery.sjsu.edu/paris/fashion/fashionfiles/redingote2.jpg
man's redingote: http://www.costumes.org/history/quicherat/Habitdeceremonievers.JPG

Women's Shawls

"Shawls are woven in one piece with bold design and color. During the 1830's the skirt got larger, balanced by huge sleeves, until by 1840 several starched white petticoats or a horsehair petticoat were worn, replaced in 1856 by whalebone hoops or the crinoline frame. It was at this time of the widening skirts that the shawl really became popular"


Some more men's fashion