Timeline of Events

Timeline of events – what was happening that was important to the time and influences society, lifestyles, occupations, etc. Use the timeline from the text, but fill in the blanks with important influences to the Zeitgeist and fashion of the times.

How does the fashion of the time reflect the Zeitgeist of the time?

What was the fashion of the time? Ideals, silhouettes, fabrics, design….

 The Empire and Romantic Eras 1800–1850

  • Changes in Europe and the US – who’s in power or in roles of importance (how did they influence change and fashion?)
  • France – Directoire/Empire; US; England
  • Industry: coal mining, steel, cotton, wool, linen
  • Economics and Society – what’s happening and why?
  • Transportation: roads, canals, railroad; Travel: steam trains and ships; Communication: telegraph
  • Communications: Newspapers, publications, magazines: Godey’s Lady’s Book
  • Changing gender roles- Georges Sand, women working
  • Gold in California
  • Fashion Industry
  • Who are the important people influencing the time and influencing fashion
  • Artistic styles, architecture; Jacques Louis David


  • Textile Production: looms and spinners; interchangeable parts; machine-made lace
  • New fabrications – jacquard, elasticized fabrics, rubber and vulcanizing, denim
  • Standardization of sizes
  • New technologies and ways of manufacturing
  • Brooks Brothers open retail store- ready to wear
  • Garment Industry in New York: clothing manufacturing and industry growth
  • Sewing machines

EMPIRE (1795-1815):

Napoleon- who was he?

French Revolution – why? American Revolution – why?

COSTUME: silhouette, Influencers: Napoleon, Josephine

MEN’S: changes (why? to what?); fabrications, silhouettes, main garments, outerwear, hats, hairstyles, footwear, accessories

WOMEN’S: silhouette, fabrics, main garments, footwear, accessories, head wear

ROMANTIC (1818-1850):

What was the Romantic movement and who were the Romantics?

Who was Beau Brummel?

What is Romanticism?

Literature – Romantic Age

Fashion change from Empire to Romantic

COSTUME: Elaborate- boredom from Empire costume, competition among classes because of mass production, knock offs and designers outdoing each other

MEN’S: Silhouette, fabrics, main garments, outerwear, neck wear

WOMEN’S: Silhouette, dresses, fabrics, wraps, walking clothes, hairstyles, bonnets, accessories, undergarments


Spencer Tailcoat  PantaloonBicorn Hessian Garrick (Carrick)Cravat  StockRedingote  WellingtonEmpire Waist MackintoshBetsies Berthas  Jockey boot Reticule LorgnettesMutton chopsLeg-o-mutton PelerineFrock coat Crinoline Spats GaitersBurberry


Timeline of important events of the period

Politics and economics: Industry: France and luxuries; Germany and coal, iron, steel; Abe Lincoln, Civil War; Civil War, Farmers and railroads, coops, railroads and telegraph; Discovery of gold in California, transcontinental railroad

Industrial Revolution

  • England – Great Exhibition, industrialization
  • Railroad and Business, robber barons
  • new technologies and innovations, inventions, changes in transportation, retailing, manufacturing
  • What was a crapper?


  • Victorian England – Queen Victoria & Prince Albert
  • France – Second Empire- France, Louis Napoleon II & Empress Eugenie
  • US

Style of Victorian- architecture, interiors, fashion, colors, mood

Health and Hygiene: population boom in US; anesthesia, dress shields in garments; tooth powder, dry cleaning

Fashion Industry:

  • Charles Frederick Worth, Empress Eugenie;
  • Retail and Distribution: Bon Marche department store; Mail-order (Montgomery Wards, Sears); Ready-to-wear
  • technology, manufacture of sewing machines, menswear manufactured in large quantities; first synthetic dye, standardization of men’s wear- army uniforms
  • Levi Strauss/ Jacob Davis: what did they make?
  • Charles Frederick Worth, Empress Eugenie
  • Designer Jewelry
  • Ready-to-wear

Women’s Roles – changing, influence on fashion; crinoline period, first bustle period, second bustle period, changes in silhouette

MEN’S: Suits, Coats, garments, shirts, neck wear, hats, hairstyles, footwear, sportswear, work clothing

WOMEN’S: changes in silhouette, walking skirts, reform clothing (Amelia Jenks Bloomer), dresses, undergarments, sports costume, hairstyles, hats, house dress, footwear, accessories


Ditto suit Sack suitSack coat Morning coatFrock coat Chesterfield Inverness coat Ulster Sack CoatPrince Albert Coat TuxedoSwallowtail Lounge Suit NorfolkDress Coat Four-in-handMutton ChopsWatch fobSpats Serge de NimesAscotDundreary whiskers MonocleStraw boater/ panama FedoraBloomers Bolero/ZouaveBowler Derby Deerstalker capShirtwaist Rainy DaisiesCrinoline  BustleBust ImproverJack Tar suitUnion Suit Fauntleroy suit

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