Artist/maker unknown, American?
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The striking fabric of this everyday dress is shown to advantage by the simple construction of the full skirt, which has nearly four yards of fabric pleated into the bodice. A hoop skirt underneath would have given the skirt the dome shape fashionable in the late 1850s and early 1860s. The bodice of the dress enhances the feminine ideal of the period: a rounded bustline is emphasized by double darts, and sloping shoulders are created by dropped armholes with separate sleeve caps. These construction features, along with the large sleeves gathered at the wrist, make the waist appear smaller than its actual 25 1/4 inches.