Influence Of Fashion In The 18th Century

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Fashion in the 18th century was characterised by greater abundance, elaboration and intricacy in clothing designs as it was influenced by the trends in the Rococo period, also known as late baroque period. Fashion was greatly influenced by iconic fashion figures such as Marie Antoinette. Womens clothing retained the emphasis on a narrow, inverted conical torso achieved with bone stays, above full skirts. Hoop skirts reached their maximum size in 1750s and began to reduce in size but remained being worn with most formal dresses and were sometimes replaced with side hoops or panniers. Panniers are womens undergarments worn to extend the width of the skirts while leaving the front and back relatively flat. the usual fashion of the years 1750-1775 was a low necked gown worn over a petticoat. Most gowns had skirts that opened infront to show the petticoat worn beneath. Women wore the 'mantua' for special occasions. It was an open fronted silk or fine wool gown with a train and matching petticoat. Hairstyles were equally elaborate with tall headdresses being the distinctive fashion of the 1770s. Women wore their hair high upon their heads, in large plumes. For men a new mindset of fashion was surfacing. The goal was to look as fashionable as possible with seamingly little effort. Throughout the period men continued to wear the long coat, waistcoat, and breeches of the previous period. However changes were seen in fabric used as well as cut of the garments. The elaborately embroidered clothing underwent change and gave way to the tailored woolen 'undress' garments for all occasions except the most formal. Wide brimmed hats turned up on three sides called tricornes were worn in mid century. Men wore wigs for formal occasions, or their hair was worn long and powdered.

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