Biedermeier fashion of women 1840s

Fashion around 1840s, the woman wears a gown with a low tight waist, a triangular body, and a long skirt. The wide sleeves are becoming narrower. From 1845 onwards, the two-piece costume was created, with a skirt and a jacket. The petticoats are replaced by a underskirt reinforced with horsehair: the crinoline. In 1856 the cage comminoline of flexible metal hoops appears. The skirt is becoming wider and decorated with strips and ruffles. The crinoline requires meters of dust. Because of the strong contrast, the extremely constricted waist is also much better. (Sometimes women fall asleep due to this extreme constriction.) The sleeves get a pagoda shape. Because of the large shawl, the silhouette resembles an inverted triangle. The hairstyles are simple, with middle separation, pipe curls or braided up to 1850 on the side of the face, and a flat bun against the back of the head. The awning hats are becoming smaller and smaller, with a border around the head and underneath the chin.

Under the influence of English fashion, the female silhouette is simplified: The day dress, eliminates accessories too bright to keep only the essential, giving the whole austere appearance. The narrow, clasped bust, a plain, dark dress, huddled in a shawl and cape, hiding her pallid complexion under a vast cloak, the fashionable woman now fades into society under the influence of cant. It is indifferently worn flat headbands or “English”, corkscrew falling on the shoulders. In the evening dress, one wears the big cleavage, ruffles and ribbons of lace with the skirt swollen with horsehair, flowers and jewelry in profusion.

The hat is shaped flared top down to drop the long loops “English” then the hood becomes more and more tight on the cheeks. Flat bands are then fashionable; at home, women wear lingerie hats adorned with lace and ribbons. The dresses are garnished on the side, worn superimposed and often open on the front semi-tail rounded sometimes a little trailing on the evening dresses. The frilly dresses, inspired by Spanish fashion, were worn in the 1860s on the street or at the show like mantillas and large shawls. Laced boots begin to appear. The bodice falls to the shoulders thanks to a very low armhole. The corset flattens the chest, lengthens and thins the waist. In the evening, women generously expose their chest and shoulders. From the general silhouette emerges an impression of fragility and mystery that dramatizes the wearing of dark colors.

Biedermeier fashion
The petticoat was initially made with horsehair reinforced fabric and replaced the hitherto customary wearing several cloth petticoats. The skirt was thus a dome shape, which determined the fashion until the 1860s. The silhouette actually goes back to the middle of the 16th century common hoop skirts , which had surfaced again in the first half of the 18th century. As a hat, the barges and the hood were still up-to-date; in summer it could also be a wide-brimmed straw hat (see Florentine hat). The hairstyles were compared to the Biedermeier much simpler to a necktie knot (Chignon) with side corkscrew curls.

The ornaments on the dresses were still limited in 1840, perhaps some embroidery, pleats and tucks at the waist. Over time, however, the surface in the form of lace and flounces increased again. The shoulders were narrow and half sleeves ended in lace cuffs.

1840s Dress Style
In the 1840s, collapsed sleeves, low necklines, elongated V-shaped bodices, and fuller skirts characterised the dress styles of women.

At the start of the decade, the sides of bodices stopped at the natural waistline, and met at a point in the front. In accordance with the heavily boned corset and seam lines on the bodice as well, the popular low and narrow waist was thus accentuated.

Sleeves of bodices were tight at the top, because of the Mancheron, but expanded around the area between the elbow and before the wrist. It was also initially placed below the shoulder, however; this restricted the movements of the arm.

As a result, the middle of the decade saw sleeves flaring out from the elbow into a funnel shape; requiring undersleeves to be worn in order to cover the lower arms.

Skirts lengthened, while widths increased due to the introduction of the horsehair crinoline in 1847; becoming a status symbol of wealth.

Extra layers of flounces and petticoats, also further emphasised the fullness of these wide skirts. In compliance with the narrow waist though, skirts were therefore attached to bodices using very tight organ pleats secured at each fold. This served as a decorative element for a relatively plain skirt. The 1840s style was perceived as conservative and “Gothic” compared to the flamboyance of the 1830s.

EVENING DRESSES Wihite satin robe.jpg TheWorldOfFashionJanuary1838.jpg TheWorldOfFashionMay1838.jpg 1837FebruarLaMode.jpg

Wiene Moden 1841 Damen.jpg

Shoulders were narrow and sloping, waists became low and pointed, and sleeve detail migrated from the elbow to the wrists. Where pleated fabric panels had wrapped the bust and shoulders in the previous decade, they now formed a triangle from the shoulder to the waist of day dresses.

Skirts evolved from a conical shape to a bell shape, aided by a new method of attaching the skirts to the bodice using organ or cartridge pleats which cause the skirt to spring out from the waist. Full skirts were achieved mainly through layers of petticoats. The increasing weight and inconvenience of the layers of starched petticoats would lead to the development of the crinoline of the second half of the 1850s.

Sleeves were narrower and fullness dropped from just below the shoulder at the beginning of the decade to the lower arm, leading toward the flared pagoda sleeves of the 1850s and 1860s.

Evening gowns were worn off the shoulder and featured wide flounces that reached to the elbow, often of lace. They were worn with sheer shawls and opera-length gloves.

Another accessory was a small bag. At home, bags were often white satin and embroidered or painted. Outdoor bags were often green or white and tasseled. There were also crocheted linen bags.

Shoes were made from the same materials as handbags. There were slippers of crocheted linen and bright colored brocade satin slippers that tied around the ankle with silk ribbon.






Hairstyles and headgear
The wide hairstyles of the previous decade gave way to fashions which kept the hair closer to the head, and the high bun or knot on the crown descended to the back of the head. Hair was still generally parted in the center. Isolated long curls dangling down towards the front (sometimes called “spaniel curls”) were worn, often without much relationship to the way that the rest of the hair was styled. Alternately the side hair could be smoothed back over the ears or looped and braided, with the ends tucked into the bun at the back.

Linen caps with frills, lace, and ribbons were worn by married women indoors, especially for daywear. These could also be worn in the garden with a parasol.

Bonnets for street wear were smaller than in the previous decade, and were less heavily decorated. The decorations that did adorn bonnets included flowers on the inside brim or a veil that could be draped over the face. Married women wore their caps under their bonnets. The crown and brim of the bonnet created a horizontal line and when tied under the chin, the brim created a nice frame around the face. This style was also often called the “coal-scuttle” bonnet because of its resemblance to the metals scoops used to shovel coal into furnaces.

For evening, feathers, pearls, lace, or ribbons were worn in the hair. There was also a small brimless bonnet worn with the ribbon untied at the nape of the neck.

Women’s undergarments were essentially unchanged from the previous period; a knee-length chemise was worn beneath a boned corset and masses of starched petticoats. The corset could be laced tightly to narrow the waist, but this was not the fashion necessity it became later in the century.

With the narrow, sloping shoulder line of the 1840s, the shawl returned to fashion, where it would remain through the 1860s. It was now generally square and worn folded on the diagonal.

Riding habits consisted of a high-necked, tight-waisted jacket with long snug sleeves, worn over a tall-collared shirt or chemisette, with a long matching petticoat or skirt. Contrasting waistcoats or vests cut like those worn by men were briefly popular. Tall hats or broad-brimmed hats like those worn by men were worn.

With the new narrower sleeves, coats and jackets returned to fashion. These were generally knee-length with a cape-like collar. Ankle-length cloaks with cape-collars to cover slits for the arms were worn in cold or wet weather. Ermine muffs with attached handkerchiefs were worn to keep hands warm and be fashionable.

The pelerine was a popular name for wide, capelike collars that extended over the shoulders and covered the upper chest. Sometimes they had layers of tiered fabric, long front panels hanging down from center front, or were also belted at the natural waistline.

The mantlet was a general name for any small cape worn as outerwear.

Style gallery 1840–1844

1 – 1840

2 – 1841

3 – 1841

4 – 1841

5 – 1842

6 – 1842

7 – 1844

8 – 1844

1.Transitional dress, c. 1840. The fullness at the shoulder has moved down the arm, and although the dress is still belted in the 1830s manner, the fabric is gathered in to accentuate the V-shaped front rather than the breadth of the shoulders. This is an early image of hair worn in cascades of curls or ringlets.
2.1841 fashion plate shows lower sleeve fullness, triangular or V-shaped emphasis in the bodice, and a sloping shoulder line. The indoor cap is trimmed with ribbon loops and frills.
3.Viennese summer fashions for 1841 feature pleated panels at the breast and sloping shoulder over long sleeves. The waist is narrow and slightly pointed, and skirts are bell-shaped.
4.Marie-Louis, Queen of the Belgians wears a red velvet evening gown with a pointed waist. Her hair is worn in a mass of sausage curls, 1841.
5.A fashion plate from La Mode which seems to play up the contrast between a menswear-influenced riding habit and more ordinary high fashion.
6.Fanny Hensel wears the V-neckline, sloped shoulder, and cascades of side curls fashionable in 1842.
7.Fashion plate from Le Moniteur de la Mode. Morning dress (left) with cape-collared jacket and evening gown (right).
8.Dresses of August 1844 show detail on lower sleeves. The dress on the left is an evening style.

Style gallery 1845–1849

1 – 1845

2 – 1845

3 – 1846

4 – c. 1847

5 – 1847

6 – 1848

7 – 1848

8 – 1849

1.Countess d’Haussonville wears her hair parted in the center and smoothed over her ears.
2.Hairstyle of c.1845, with a central part, long sausage curls, and a bun on the back of the crown, is a fashionably romantic echo of mid-seventeenth century styles. This style would remain popular into the next decade. German, c. 1845.
3.Young lady of Holland wears a lace collar and ruffled chemise or chemisette with her dark dress.
4.Fashion plate of a riding habit c. 1847 features a cutaway jacket over a contrasting waistcoat and shirt with a stiff turned-down collar. The lady wears a dashing plumed hat.
5.Underwear of 1847: This woman is unlacing her corset, having stepped out of her petticoats. Her chemise is knee-length, with sleeves ending just above the elbow.
6.Baroness Rothschild wears a pink satin evening gown with rows of ruching at the hem and lace frills at the collar and sleeves, all trimmed with ribbon bows. Her hair is smoothed over her ears and decorated with ostrich plumes, 1848.
7.In Winterhalter’s portrait of 1848, Princess Maria Carolina Augusta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies wears her hair parted in the center and hanging in sausage curls. Her skirt is gathered with wide, flat pleats, and the pleating on her bodice is visible through the black lace.
8.Fashion illustration of 1849. The lady on the left wears a low-waisted morning dress and an outdoor bonnet. The lady on the right wears a short jacket over her dress and a lacey indoor cap.

Source from Wikipedia