Through the ages women’s fashions have been the object of great interest by many, and great scorn by others. The scorn has generally been reserved for those fashionistas who wear the extremes of the style. And any fad can be taken to extremes. From French “Aristos” with hair that stood more than two feet tall, to the early 20th century hobble skirts that made it nearly impossible for women to walk. Poised between those two time periods, the Victorians certainly had their excesses as well. One of the most eagerly lampooned was the hoop skirt.
Accustomed as we are to our easy wash-and-wear society, we can forget how much these styles restricted a woman’s ability to be active and to do things. We’re not just talking the size of the crinoline, but the sheer weight of yards and yards of material that made up the dresses. Practicality limited most women to reasonable hoop sizes, but for the idle rich the only limitation was imagination—and possibly the size of their hallways.
I still have to wonder how ladies managed to maneuver through their world in what amounted to cages. And yet they did. They managed it with aplomb.
Do you think you would enjoy wearing a hoop skirt? Why or why not? Do you like that style?
I’m giving away a copy of Diamond in the Rough today. So please comment so that we can put your name in the drawing. (The blurb is below so you can decide whether it’s worth the effort!)
Grant Diamond is a professional gambler on the run from his past. When he comes across a wagon wreck, the chance to escape his pursuers is too good a gamble to pass up, and he assumes the identity of the dead wagon driver. His plan takes an unexpected
turn when local heiress Lily Rose mistakes him for the missionary she had asked to come work with the Wiyot Indians. Seeing Eureka as a promising place to lay low, Grant plays along. Before he knows it, he”s bluffing his way through sermons and building an Indian school. But with a Pinkerton on his trail and a rancher rousing fresh hatred against the Indians, Grant fears the new life he”s built may soon crumple like a house of cards.