From 1850s skirts became wider and wider and were supported by vast amount of petticoats until finally the crinoline, or hoop, was invented in the late 1850s.
Skirts had several flounces and sleeves were elaborate and wider in shape, often decorated with flounces, lace or opulent trimming.
Like new fashion in every era, the crinoline was criticised in the press and in magazines such as Punch, emphasising its disadvantages for the wearer - and for those in proximity!
In the Colony of Natal, where, with regular shipping arrivals at the Port, ladies could count on receiving news of fashion trends in Europe, the crinoline had its detractors. Robert Russell writes severely in the 1850s: