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Woman's Hoop Skirt

Made by the Bridgeport Skirt Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut

Geography:
Made in Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States, North and Central America

Date:
c. 1865

Medium:
Cotton-covered spring steel hoops; cotton tapes; leather front bindings; tinned steel buckle and fasteners; copper alloy fasteners

Dimensions:
Diameter (of bottom hoop): 39 inches (99.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1950-59-7

Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. James Mapes Dodge, 1950

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Label:
This sizable hoop skirt has a circumference of 114 inches; it is, nevertheless, thirty inches smaller than the most exaggerated examples of the era. This hoop's flaring shape, fashionable in the mid-1860s, has a "Y" of tapes in back, and its thirty spring steel hoops are closely spaced to give the overskirt a smooth line. Hoop skirts weighed anywhere from eight to twenty-four ounces (this one is about twenty ounces) and were therefore much lighter than a plethora of starched cotton or crinoline petticoats. In 1859, Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine blamed seven thick underskirts worn in July for putting a woman into "a languid state of health that was incurable," and claimed that hoops now protected even the foolish from this sorry fate.

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