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Fashion - Evening Dress

The 19th century was a time of great change in women's fashion. The century began with high waistlines and straight skirts, and by the 1850s, the style had evolved into a more natural waistline and full skirt. Adelicia Acklen's clothing choices showcase the most fashionable trends from Europe and North America during that time. Follow Belmont Mansion as we embark on a nine part series showcasing the dresses, jewelry, and fashion choices of Adelicia Acklen.

This image features Adelicia in a dress which could have been used as an evening or dinner dress dating from 1866 or 1867. It is one of the few images in which she is not wearing a walking dress or visiting dress. The dinner, or evening dress, she is wearing would have been worn at a formal dinner party or to an evening event such as a concert or party. Around the middle of the 1860’s the volume of the skirt began to accumulate at the back, and though this photograph does not feature a distinct bustle, there is a lengthening of the back of the skirt creating a very brief train. Trains also became more distinctive during this time. Adelicia’s dress demonstrates the shifting style of the mid 1860’s.

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