Sexy upskirt shot, ca. 1870

From the Smithsonian's snapshot series, a special image for Valentine's Day:

Caged crinoline, also known as a hoop skirt, was the most distinctive silhouette of the late 19th century. This photo shows a hoop skirt, named because of its series of concentric hoops of whalebone or cane. It replaced the popular petticoat of the late 1500s to mid 1800s. Multiple petticoats were sometimes worn to create the full, dome-shape, small-waist silhouette popular in women’s fashion through the mid 1800s. During the late 1800s, hoop skirts like this one lightened the weight of multiple petticoats by creating the same fashionable silhouette but with fewer layers. It only required one or two petticoats worn over the hoop skirt. Unlike shaping undergarments before the 19th century, hoop skirts were worn by women of every social class. In 1846, David Hough Jr. introduced the first hoop skirt in the U.S. The hoop-skirt form, like the bustle and corset, gives insight into the complexities of dress in the 19th century. This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not on display.

Looks so comfy!

(thanks, Jessica Porter Sadeq)

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  1. Missouri History Museum in St. Louis is putting on an exhibit or the evolution of women’s underwear starting with caged crinoline soon. Apparently crinoline required underwear for the first time due to its propensity toward flipping up…

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