Womens Fashion

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Fashion has played a huge role in female history. Fashion has gone far beyond material that women wore on their bodies. Fashion has changed throughout history and still continues to change today. Women wore different outfits for different reasons. As social standards changed so did fashion. Focusing in on the fashions of the 19th century, people begin to learn the reasons why women dressed as they did, what styles were popular, and different social reasons for dressing the way they did.

Looking back to the early 19th century, many women wore an article of clothing known as the corset. The corset restricted the woman's upper body a great deal. The corset was made of whalebone and sometimes even wood. The corset was worn to make the women look as if she had a very small waist. The small waist became known as a desirable, sexual attraction. When a women got married it was her ambition to have a waist measurement not exceeding her age.

The corset was known as a very elegant fashion. In the 19th century, the women wore restricted clothing and were also very restricted and held back at their homes. The ideal women in the 19th century was a women who stayed home, cleaned the house, cooked the food, and took care of her children. While the women were home doing their so called "duties" the men were out working and making and providing for his family. Corsets were described as being "disciplined", "confinement", "compulsion", "torture", "agony", and "submission". Could all these words also describe the social roles of women during the 19th century? In the 1830's clothing was a very important task , and the work in making the clothing was left to the women. Every piece of clothing had to be hand stitched. Fabrics...