The invention of the steel-hooped cage crinoline in the mid-1850s was a real game changer for women's fashion during the Victorian era. Until then, the many petticoats required to accommodate women's skirts meant that the wearer had to carry many pounds of excess weight. All those petticoats hampered movement and were hot during summer! The cage crinoline allowed skirts to be up to six yards wide at the hem, which would never had been possible with traditional crinolines, or horsehair petticoats. It also presented a beautiful bell-shaped silhouette. Hoop crinolines were worn by women from all social classes and even young girls.
The gowns featured in this category are designed to be worn with a hoop crinoline. You will present a stunningly beautiful silhouette that is bound to be eye-catching when you enter the room. Many styles are customer favorites, and as with all of our garments, each is lovingly designed and sewn in the United States!
Hoop skirts remained popular through the mid-1860s. Their association with the American Civil War era is undeniable. Many of our hoop-skirted gowns are reminiscent of the Antebellum South and what was worn by women during the war years. We have several designs that also work beautifully as a wedding gown. Many of our gowns are perfect for your wedding party, too!
Bodices are fitted and some are boned which takes away the need for a corset. Some bodices feature a four dart front, others fall at the natural waistline, while still others feature the classic 'v' front and back.
Low scooped and shawl necklines were popular styles of the day and are featured in some of our designs. Others feature a lovely modest jewel neckline. Some of those have a ruffle along the neckline for an additional feminine touch. A few feature a flattering square neckline. Do you love the low scooped neckline but want a little modesty? We have styles that feature a lace basque or a fichu. Both add style and elegance while offering and added level of modesty.
From very short and shirred to elbow-length to long and fitted, leg o'mutton or wide pagoda, we offer sleeves in a variety of flattering styles. Many of our hoop-skirted gowns feature sleeves that can be worn off the shoulder for elegant affairs.
Whether you prefer the shimmer and crispness of taffeta, the luster of dupioni, of the ease of care of cotton, you will find a design in a fabric that fits your style. Our gowns are best dry cleaned, but those made of cotton may be gently washed and hung to dry.
Of course, no lady would be completely dressed without the necessary accessories. We have hoop crinolines and petticoats, gloves, shoes and boots, parasols, fans, hats and hair ornaments, and more to help you complete your look.
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Most people find that our sizing runs generously. If you are undecided with which size to order, it is best to order the smaller size, or give us a call to assist you (1-800-452-5925). You may also email us at email@example.com with your measurements (bust and waist) and we can help you choose the nearest size.
An exception to the generous sizing is the type of ball gown that requires boning in the bodice and that supports a heavy skirt. Many times this style is also "off-the-shoulder" and requires a firm fit to stay up. These styles tend to not run as generously as most of our other garments because of this. But please, give us a call if you are uncertain.
In most cases you should take your bust and waist measurement to determine your size. Please wear the undergarments that you intend to wear when you do your measuring. For example, take your measurement over the type of brassiere or corset that you may be wearing.
Measure the fullest part of your bust around and the smallest part of your waist.