Crinoline Decade in Fashion History

Crinoline Decade

The cage Crinoline, the major fashion innovation for women in the 1850s which started the Crinoline decade. During the Romantic period, women used to wear Layers of petticoats, sometimes they used up to six Layers of petticoats. For increasing width of skirts needed to use more and more stiffened fabrics. After several years, in 1859, the editor of Peterson’s Magazine revived new addition of skirts. These skirts looked like a farthingale and these were called “Crinoline”. This was made out of still. A crinoline was a light still framework covered with fabric to distend a skirt.


Clothing for Women of Crinoline Decade

Women wore Day dresses and Evening dresses during this period. Most of the dresses or gowns were made of silk, wool, or cotton fabric. The texture or designs of Evening dresses were more attractive and decorative than the Day dresses.

Crinoline Decade women fashion
Day-Time Dress
They used Bodice shaping tops which were often achieved through curved seams in the back, darts in the front. Armholes were placed low on the arm. It is attached by button or hocks. The tops were made of silk, wool, or cotton fabric. The necklines of the tops were usually high, without attached collars, and usually finished in bias piping. But removable, washable collars (and cuff) were usually worn with daytime dresses. The most common sleeve styles of the dresses were used such as bell-shaped, pagoda-shaped, double-ruffles, close sleeves, men’s coat sleeves, etc. Separate blouses were worn with skirts. In the 1860s, The Red Garibaldi Blouse became very popular and also skirts were designed as pyramid-shaped.

crinoline decade Day-Time Dress
Evening Dress
Evening dresses were different from Day Time dresses. Most of the evening dresses were designed as “off the shoulder” necklines. The neckline designs had been either straight across or with a dip at the center.  They used short sleeves, straight sleeves, and sleeveless dresses. The decorative effects of the Double skirts were created by looping or puffing up the outer layer. Skirt fabrics were trimmed with artificial ribbons, flowers, lace, or rosettes for designing. The evening dresses were made of different kinds of fabrics than Day Time dresses. They also wore daytime dresses In the evening time.

crinoline decade Evening Dress
They used short sleeve and knee-length Chemise, knee-length drawers, waist-length Camisole, Corset and cotton Hoop (cage crinoline), and cotton petticoat as their undergarments.

crinoline decade Undergarments
Outdoor Garments
They used Pelisse, Mantel, Shawl Mantel, Talma mantle, and Rotonde as their outer garment. These garments were made of velvet, lace, or woolen fabric.

crinoline decade Outdoor Garments

Clothing for Men of Crinoline Decade

In this decade, men wore a Frock coat, Waistcoat, and Trousers which are called “3-piece suits” together, with a shirt a cravat tied like a bowtie. Sack coats were introduced later too and the military people wore pea or reefers jackets.

crinoline men fashion
A man’s undergarments included underdrawers and in cold weather, perhaps an undershirt.

Outdoor Garments
They used a frock card, Inverness cape, and cloaks as their outer garment. These garments were made of velvet, lace, or woolen fabric.

Clothing for Children

Infants and toddlers wore white gowns. The teenage boys wore suits, sailor clothes, or sporty outfits, and girls wore long or short dresses with aprons. Both boys and girls wore button-up boots. Young girls wore bonnets to wrap their heads and boys wore caps or straw hats. They wore long coats and jackets in the winter.


In this decade, women worked to attain the era’s ideal feminine identity; a “natural” and demure woman with a pale complexion, rosy lips and cheeks, and bright eyes instead of using heavy paint makeup from the previous decade.

crinoline decade Makeover


Women used hand gloves, belts, purses, decorative hand fans, and umbrellas, as men used gloves, handkerchiefs, cane, etc.

Crinoline decade Accessories
Women used Day caps, Snoods, and Bonnets as their headdresses. Day caps and snoods were made of wool. Bonnets were made of silk, cotton, or lace fabrics.

crinoline decade women Headdress
The materials for 19th-century jewelry were mainly silver, gold, diamonds, and traditional colored gemstones. Emerald, sapphire, and ruby were also included as well as amber, chalcedony, coral, amethyst, red garnet, pearl, and smoky quartz. Women used earrings, hair clips, Bengals, pendants, etc.

crinoline decade women Jewelry

Footwear of Crinoline Decade

For daytime, women wore shoes that had low heels, square toes, and rosette trimming design over the toes in some styles. Women wore the Evening shoes that were matching colored with their gowns. Men always wore boots for comfort.

Footwear of Crinoline Decade


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