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-   -   How Did Women Wear Hoop Skirts? (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=86394)

A Turtle Named Mack 19 July 2013 06:31 PM

How Did Women Wear Hoop Skirts?
 
My novel, 31 Bond Street, explores the fate of a well-do widow with two teenage daughters, Emma Cunningham (still considered youthful and attractive in her 30′s), during a sensational trial for murder. By reading the newspapers of 1857 to research the actual case that it is based upon, I was thrust back into that era. When I immersed myself, I found that ‘day to day’ existence was rarely explained in the newspaper – as so much about contemporary life was taken for granted. One of my biggest curiosities was ‘how did women ever manage to wear hoop skirts?’

http://www.wondersandmarvels.com/201...op-skirts.html

Seaboe Muffinchucker 19 July 2013 06:40 PM

Hoops are not hard to wear. There are some tricks to them, of course (sitting down and going to the bathroom take practice).

I was wearing one about two weeks ago (on the 5th of July).

Seaboe

E. Q. Taft 19 July 2013 07:52 PM

I've read that at the time, hoop skirts were actually considered rather liberating. If this seems weird, remember that before they came along, women wore multiple layers of petticoats to achieve the same visual effect. By contrast, hoops are much lighter and cooler.

Bear in mind, too, that they were worn mainly by upper-class women, who weren't generally expected to be doing any real work. This doesn't mean they didn't sometimes have to do some awkward or strenuous stuff, but it's not like they were worn by household servants or women working in the fields or factories.

Sue 19 July 2013 08:03 PM

In one of the little house books Laura talks about how she wore hoops. It would have been either Little Town on the Prairie or Happy Golden Years. Anyway I'm pretty sure she explains how to put them on. I remember she talked about how to make the hoops bigger or smaller depending on how "poofy" you wanted the skirt to be. I'd expect a lot of novels set in this period would have details like that especially those written by women who lived through that era.

Morgaine 19 July 2013 09:12 PM

I wore one about 6 months ago. It wasn't too bad once I figured it out. What worked for me was to pull the back up just a bit before I sat. This put the hoops at an angle & they would lay against my legs.
Think of it this way: Take 3-5 bracelets & put them on your wrist. If you put your wrist on a surface straight up & down they'll pop up above your wrist. OTOH, if you tilt them just a bit they will lay down along your wrist, hand or arm.

Tootsie Plunkette 19 July 2013 11:45 PM

This book is aimed at actors and re-enactors, but it has useful information on how to properly wear garments of multiple periods:

The Wearing of Costume: The Changing Techniques of Wearing Clothes and How to Move in Them, from Roman Britain to the Second World War

LizzyBean 19 July 2013 11:56 PM

I wore hoop skirts on a regular basis as a Rainbow Girl. Once you get the hang of them, they're no trouble at all. And way better and more comfortable to wear than a crinoline. Learning to sit is the hardest part. And it was kind of fun to pretend you were a giant bell. :D

Horse Chestnut 20 July 2013 10:56 AM

OK, I just got a picture of Scarlet O'Hara standing over a subway grate, ala Marilyn in Seven Year Itch. I wonder how a proper lady would have handled the situation? :lol:

Brad from Georgia 20 July 2013 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horse Chestnut (Post 1753715)
OK, I just got a picture of Scarlet O'Hara standing over a subway grate, ala Marilyn in Seven Year Itch. I wonder how a proper lady would have handled the situation? :lol:

She would fly away like Mary Poppins.

Alarm 22 July 2013 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia (Post 1753719)
She would fly away like Mary Poppins.

More like The Flying Nun than Mary Poppins, I think. :p

Lainie 22 July 2013 01:17 PM

A proper lady would not stand over the grate, I think. ;)

I remember reading in And Ladies of the Club about little girls in hoops/crinolines "making a pudding" (?) in order to sit down on the ground -- they'd spin around to make their skirts flare out, then drop straight down to sit tailor-style, and their skirts would fall down around them.

E. Q. Taft 23 July 2013 02:52 AM

*sigh* Been way too long since I wore a skirt of any kind. Oh well. :)

Dropbear 23 July 2013 03:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia (Post 1753719)
She would fly away like Mary Poppins.

She might launch like Mary Poppins but she would then she would quickly tilt over and spin into the ground in a fiery ball of flame. The a flaming car tire would roll out - because of narrative necessity.

Dropbear

queen of the caramels 23 July 2013 04:37 AM

One of the clearest memories I have of my car crash is watching a solitory hub-cap spin it's way across the width of the motorway and all the cars coming in the opposite direction swerving to avoid it.

The cars on my side were stopping to help.

A Turtle Named Mack 23 July 2013 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by queen of the caramels (Post 1754373)
One of the clearest memories I have of my car crash is watching a solitary hub-cap spin it's way across the width of the motorway and all the cars coming in the opposite direction swerving to avoid it.

The cars on my side were stopping to help.

QOTC, I am sorry for your accident, but what does it have to do with hoop skirts? Was this a recent accident, and you are perhaps still having a touch of confusion? Or better, maybe it is just that you thought you were posting in a different thread?

Lainie 23 July 2013 12:09 PM

Read Dropbear's post, directly above QotC's.

Brad from Georgia 23 July 2013 04:12 PM

In the old days the hoop skirts became so heavy that the only way a woman could don one would be to raise it with a special windlass and then have it lowered down over her head. If you could find one of those machines today, it would be worth a fortune on Antiques Roadshow.

But as we all know, hooping cranes are very rare.

GenYus234 23 July 2013 05:41 PM

When reading your post, it sounded like you were working up to a bad pun, but I was hooping that wasn't the case.

Seaboe Muffinchucker 23 July 2013 06:38 PM

Better a hooping crane than a hooping cough.

Seaboe


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