Petticoats and Frock Coats: Revolution and Victorian Age Fashions from the 1770s to 1860s

Petticoats and Frock Coats: Revolution and Victorian Age Fashions from the 1770s to 1860s

by Cynthia Overbeck Bix
     
 

What would you have worn if you lived during the American Revolution or the early 1800s? It depends on who you were:  • Women wore layers and layers of undergarments, including corsets, chemises, and petticoats. • Wealthy women followed fashion trends from Europe. One daring dress was the Empire-style gown, which featured a high waist, a low

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Overview

What would you have worn if you lived during the American Revolution or the early 1800s? It depends on who you were:  • Women wore layers and layers of undergarments, including corsets, chemises, and petticoats. • Wealthy women followed fashion trends from Europe. One daring dress was the Empire-style gown, which featured a high waist, a low neckline, bare arms, and clinging fabric. • Men of wealth wore powdered wigs in the Revolutionary era. • Men flaunted plenty of accessories, including neckties, top hats, walking sticks, and pocket watches. Women accessorized with gloves, hats, parasols, and fans. • Most farmers made do with only one or two outfits. Farm women spun yarn, wove fabric, and sewed clothing for the whole family. • At the start of the Revolutionary War, American soldiers wore their ordinary clothes into battle. Uniforms showed up later. • On southern plantations, some house slaves dressed in stylish dapper uniforms. But field slaves wore coarse, sacklike garments. • Very young boys and girls dressed alike—in short-sleeved cotton dresses. After age four, boys switched to knee-length pants. Read more about Revolutionary and early 1800s fashions—from pantaloons to silk stockings to tricornered hats—in this fascinating book!

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Christine Miller
This five-volume Dressing a Nation series provides a fascinating look at the history of American clothing and fashion, offering an engaging interpretation of the sociological, political, and economic factors that impacted how various classes of Americans dressed and accessorized from colonial times through the 1950s. The set's scope is chronological and topical in arrangement, with volumes covering clothing styles and trends in Colonial America; Revolutionary America and the Victorian Era; the Westward Expansion; the Civil War; and the Great Depression, World War II, and post-war America. Photographs, drawings and paintings of period attire in Petticoats and Frock Coats illustrate sharp contrasts between the lives of wealthy individuals and those of laborers and slaves. During this period, inventions such as the cotton gin and sewing machine paved the way for the transition from homespun to ready-made clothing. The historical moment covered in Hoopskirts, Union Blues, and Confederate Grays saw the rise of pants for women, jeans for work, the first haute couture house in Paris, and the beginning of mass consumption. Each volume is similarly arranged with five or six short chapters; numerous illustrations and colorful sidebars help to guide the reader through the expository text. Quotes from famous Americans and frequent references to art and literature help to contextualize the volume, and its glossary, timeline, recommended reading, and online resources make this set a terrific resource for the classroom. It will also be enjoyed as recreational reading and is recommended for school, library and home collections. (Dressing A Nation: The History of U.S. Fashion) Reviewer: Christine Miller
Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
Fashion truly reflects the spirit of an age, as is made evident in the "Dressing a Nation: The History of U.S. Fashion" series. This volume focuses on styles worn from The Revolutionary War to the time of The Civil War. The six chapters present military uniforms, fashionable clothing for women and men, undergarments, and trends. Photographs, drawings, and text boxes make it easy for a reader to browse the information or read it straight through. The text is filled with interesting tidbits. Life in the new nation was simple and people found it necessary to spin and weave their own cloth. Colonists wore their homespun as a mark of pride in their independence from Britain. However, during the reign of Queen Victoria, British fashion was again popular. Women often sacrificed comfort for fashion as they were laced into whalebone corsets. With the invention of the daguerreotype, people were able to capture their family's image. Family members dressed in their best clothing for these photographs giving us a record of the styles. Fun facts such as the meaning of macaroni in "Yankee Doodle" are scattered throughout the book. Each colorful volume in the series includes a timeline, glossary, source notes, bibliography, suggestions for further research, and an index. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761358886
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Series:
Dressing a Nation: the History of U. S. Fashion Series
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
11 - 17 Years

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