European Women's Fashion in the Eighteenth Century (the Rococo Era)

977 Words Feb 10th, 2011 4 Pages
European Women’s Fashion in the Eighteenth Century
(The Rococo Era) Fashion has been always been a dominate part within every society throughout the years. Fashion is “a prevailing custom or style of dress, etiquette, socializing, etc.” and “conventional usage in dress, manners, etc., especially of polite society, or conformity to it” (“fashion”). When it comes to fashion, Europe happens to be the most influential continent. For centuries, Europe has always been fashion-forward, influencing many other continents and countries with its style. There has always been the misconception, as stated by fashion historian Aileen Ribeiro in Dress in Eighteenth-Century Europe, “[that] most think immediately of Paris and the French court when they
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At the hips were panniers, or side hoops, which were important when it came to court fashion because they dilated the hips. Free-hanging pockets were tied about the waist, and waistcoats or petticoats were worn over the corsets for warmth. These were the types of undergarments that most late eighteenth century women wore. (“1750–1795 in Fashion”; Cullen) Aside from the necessary undergarments, low-necked gowns were typical attire in the 1750s. Usually, the gowns had skirt attachments, and the skirts would have an opening in the front to expose the petticoat that the woman wore beneath it. If the gown’s bodice had an opening, then there was usually a stomacher pinned to the corset that was beneath the gown for decoration. The sleeves of the gowns normally had tight elbow-length sleeves that flushed at the ends with frills or ruffles. During this period, gowns were very popular and versatile and could be worn extravagantly or plainly. Upper class women would often have the more expensive, extravagant gowns while the middle and lower class normally settled for the plain “shortgowns.” (“1750–1795 in Fashion”) When it came to shoes during the late eighteenth century, women wore them like they wore their clothes. Much like now, in most societies, people dress in terms of their wealth, i.e. the rich dress fanciful and the poor dress in what they can afford. The same rules apply to women of the eighteenth century. Women wore shoes with high, curved heels made of

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