Crinolines Take Flight, Our Aerodynamic Fashion Extreme

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
18,419
Location
Central Pennsylvania
#1
crinoline escape 5.jpg

Just one of a plethora of era cartoons lampooning this improbable fashion extreme. Yes, I realize we're a little smitten by them and descriptions of floating belles waltzing on magnolia strewn verandas captures popular imagination. Women also caught fire, were struck by lightening, drowned and broke legs by the dozen falling down stairs in those things. Men hated them, too, hence the pen stuck into this cartoon.

You read a LOT of stories about them in era newspaper, incidents while wearing one. This one's a little awesome. There's a reason for choosing the image above.
crinoline escape 1865 1.jpg

It must have looked like a romantic kind of life. Thread on these women somewhere.

crinoline escape 2.JPG

When I was kid the catch phrase about running away to join the circus was still around. There must have been a lot of factual precedence to draw on.

crinoline escape 1865 3.jpg


Wait for it...
crinoline escape flight.jpg


crinoline escape 1865 4.jpg


"... preserving human life...". they were sure more dangerous than life preserving but there are stories of women falling into rivers and being saved by crinolines acting as weird buoys. The ones whose crinolines filled with water just drowned.

Harper's, reporting on the one in the river. No lampooning necessary.
crinoline floating.jpg
 

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Northern Light

Lt. Colonel
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10,697
#2
What a great story, JPK! I can just picture her floating off the train and landing in a heap of skirts and petticoats. I love the era literary style, as well. "...measures were immediately taken to turn her steps from the hazardous paths she would fain tread." Indeed!
 

Belle Montgomery

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
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44022
#3
View attachment 310363
Just one of a plethora of era cartoons lampooning this improbable fashion extreme. Yes, I realize we're a little smitten by them and descriptions of floating belles waltzing on magnolia strewn verandas captures popular imagination. Women also caught fire, were struck by lightening, drowned and broke legs by the dozen falling down stairs in those things. Men hated them, too, hence the pen stuck into this cartoon.

You read a LOT of stories about them in era newspaper, incidents while wearing one. This one's a little awesome. There's a reason for choosing the image above.
View attachment 310364
It must have looked like a romantic kind of life. Thread on these women somewhere.

View attachment 310362
When I was kid the catch phrase about running away to join the circus was still around. There must have been a lot of factual precedence to draw on.

View attachment 310365

Wait for it...
View attachment 310369

View attachment 310366

"... preserving human life...". they were sure more dangerous than life preserving but there are stories of women falling into rivers and being saved by crinolines acting as weird buoys. The ones whose crinolines filled with water just drowned.

Harper's, reporting on the one in the river. No lampooning necessary.
View attachment 310370
Love this!
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
119
#4
View attachment 310363
Just one of a plethora of era cartoons lampooning this improbable fashion extreme. Yes, I realize we're a little smitten by them and descriptions of floating belles waltzing on magnolia strewn verandas captures popular imagination. Women also caught fire, were struck by lightening, drowned and broke legs by the dozen falling down stairs in those things. Men hated them, too, hence the pen stuck into this cartoon.

You read a LOT of stories about them in era newspaper, incidents while wearing one. This one's a little awesome. There's a reason for choosing the image above.
View attachment 310364
It must have looked like a romantic kind of life. Thread on these women somewhere.

View attachment 310362
When I was kid the catch phrase about running away to join the circus was still around. There must have been a lot of factual precedence to draw on.

View attachment 310365

Wait for it...
View attachment 310369

View attachment 310366

"... preserving human life...". they were sure more dangerous than life preserving but there are stories of women falling into rivers and being saved by crinolines acting as weird buoys. The ones whose crinolines filled with water just drowned.

Harper's, reporting on the one in the river. No lampooning necessary.
View attachment 310370
 
Joined
Feb 16, 2019
Messages
119
#5
Wikipedia notes: At its widest point, the crinoline could reach a circumference of up to six yards, although by the late 1860s, crinolines were beginning to reduce in size. And the "Fashion Era" website claims they weighed up to 14 lbs. A bit like towing a sail behind you, or the sheets and blankets from a king-sized bed. One way to stay in shape when you aren't permitted the gym.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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#7
Fascinating. I can see how women fell while wearing the hoops. I’ve seen the slow topple on the dance floor. The worse thing is that wonce the capsizing is in process, there is nothing you can do, other than hope she is wearing a privacy petticoat!

Oh nooooo! Can't imagine because yes, someone wearing one of those would be incredibly helpless! AND how does she get up again? In all the threads and conjecturing I've done about crinoline that aspect never occurred to me. Makes me wince.

Wikipedia notes: At its widest point, the crinoline could reach a circumference of up to six yards, although by the late 1860s, crinolines were beginning to reduce in size. And the "Fashion Era" website claims they weighed up to 14 lbs. A bit like towing a sail behind you, or the sheets and blankets from a king-sized bed. One way to stay in shape when you aren't permitted the gym.
Six yards? Whoa- I've never thought to ask a reenactor, like a big idiot- who'd know better what it takes to lug all that around? Must have the muscles of a door-to-door bar bell salesman.
 

Mrs. V

First Sergeant
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
1,404
#8
Oh nooooo! Can't imagine because yes, someone wearing one of those would be incredibly helpless! AND how does she get up again? In all the threads and conjecturing I've done about crinoline that aspect never occurred to me. Makes me wince.



Six yards? Whoa- I've never thought to ask a reenactor, like a big idiot- who'd know better what it takes to lug all that around? Must have the muscles of a door-to-door bar bell salesman.
Well, now that you mention it..When I buy fabric for a CW dress, I generally get 9 yards. 2 for the bodice, because sleeves and the rest goes for the skirt. And they are not as heavy as you would think. Part of the function of the knife/cannon pleats is to take the weight of the skirt and evenly distribute it across the hoop. They also give volume to your skirts, so that if you choose to wear just a petticoat or 30, you can actually walk. After a few wearings, you do get used to the weight. And you learn how to sit..and flip up the world when you need to use the “little belle’s room”...
 



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