Girls might wear a kind of cap indoors, but always put on bonnets when going outdoors.
Bonnet styles tended to be more open than in the 1840s. Women and girls wore enormous dresses with skirts held out by crinolines. Necklines could be quite low, but there were also dresses that nuttoned at the neck. Dresses were often plain one-piece garments with slightly lower waists. Women wore more open necklines and wider collars. Fashionable wide collars were worn in a more comfortable looking down on the shoulders style rather than upright as had been fashion in the 1840s. Bishop sleeves became very popular as well as front opening bodices. Plain bodices were common, often with long darts at the sides, rather a military look. Dress skirts tended to be wider and more decorative than in the 1840s. While dress bodicies hanged significantky, the skirt length did not change. The basic style for women continued to be floor-length dresses, although the skirts were wider than in th 1840s. This wide look was enhanced by the hooped skirt which appeared in the mid-1850s and began to replace the multiple layers of petticats that before had helped build us the voluminous skirts. A few fashionable younger women experimented with "Bloomers" or a short skirt over ankle-length Turkish trousers, a style somewhat related to the shorter dresses and pantalettes still worn by girls. Pantalettes in the 1850s were worn above the ankle, commonlyat calf-level. Women began using shorter cotsets. Womwn began wearing their hair with broad loops just above their ears, but by the end of the decade the loops were less defined and more commonly covered the ear. We also notice girls with ringlet curls. Girls commonly had center parts.
1850s: Patterned dress: American girl and brothers
1850s: Dresses: American family
1850s: Cape and ringlet curls: American girl and brothers
1850s: Dresses and hair styles: American girls
About 1850: Girls' dresses: American girls
1850: Girl's baby dress: American girl
1851: Dress and ringlet curls: Russian girl
1851: Straw hat and burgandy dress English child
1851: Short hair: English children
1852: Dress: Belgian girl
1853: White dress with pink ribbons: American child
1853: Straw hat, jacket, and ruffled skirt: American girl
1854: Hair bows and dress: American family
Mid-1850s: Girls' dresses: English family
1855: Dresses and pantalettes: American children
1857: Younger girl's hair style: English brother and sister
Late 1850s: Checked dress: American child. This image is undated, it may be the early 1860s.
Late 1850s: Dress: French young women working in a stereoview workshop.
Late 1850s: Headwear and dresses American community girls
Late 1850s: Little girl print dress: American siblings
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