1. The widespread introduction of the cage crinoline in 1858 resulted in some rather ridiculous ensembles when combined with short dresses for little girls.
This 1858 fashion plate from Le Journal des Demoiselles contains one such ensemble, as well as a rather spiffy little boy’s velvet suit.

    The widespread introduction of the cage crinoline in 1858 resulted in some rather ridiculous ensembles when combined with short dresses for little girls.

    This 1858 fashion plate from Le Journal des Demoiselles contains one such ensemble, as well as a rather spiffy little boy’s velvet suit.

  2. A boy’s wool Zouave-style suit from 1858. Zouaves were originally light infantry soldiers in the French army, serving mostly in North Africa. Their uniform, which consisted of an open-front coat and baggy trousers, was adapted by Union units in New York during the American Civil War.
Zouave jackets were so popular in the late 1850s and early 1860s that they were not only worn by boys, but also came in stylish varieties for women.

    A boy’s wool Zouave-style suit from 1858. Zouaves were originally light infantry soldiers in the French army, serving mostly in North Africa. Their uniform, which consisted of an open-front coat and baggy trousers, was adapted by Union units in New York during the American Civil War.

    Zouave jackets were so popular in the late 1850s and early 1860s that they were not only worn by boys, but also came in stylish varieties for women.

  3. A boy’s bright orange wool dress with ribbon trim dating to 1856.

    A boy’s bright orange wool dress with ribbon trim dating to 1856.

  4. A gorgeous girl’s silk party dress made in England circa 1855. The bold Greek key trim was likely inspired by the Archaeological Revival movement that swept Europe in the mid-19th century, incorporating Greek, Roman and Etruscan details into popular fashion, most especially jewelry.

    A gorgeous girl’s silk party dress made in England circa 1855. The bold Greek key trim was likely inspired by the Archaeological Revival movement that swept Europe in the mid-19th century, incorporating Greek, Roman and Etruscan details into popular fashion, most especially jewelry.

  5. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s 1851 purchase and subsequent renovation of Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands caused a fad for plaid to sweep the fashion world. Fine tartans in wool and silk became the most desired fashion fabrics for all ages and styles of dress.
This girl’s silk dress dates to 1855. The deep “V” cut of the bodice imitates the heavily corseted waists of women’s fashion at the time.

    Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s 1851 purchase and subsequent renovation of Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands caused a fad for plaid to sweep the fashion world. Fine tartans in wool and silk became the most desired fashion fabrics for all ages and styles of dress.

    This girl’s silk dress dates to 1855. The deep “V” cut of the bodice imitates the heavily corseted waists of women’s fashion at the time.

  6. A posh velvet ensemble for a three or four-year-old boy dating from 1855.

    A posh velvet ensemble for a three or four-year-old boy dating from 1855.

  7. A boy’s simple silk dress with fringed trim dating to circa 1855.

    A boy’s simple silk dress with fringed trim dating to circa 1855.

  8. An amazing embroidered boy’s cashmere dress dating to 1855. This particular dress was actually made in Kashmir and imported to Europe, most likely England, for purchase.

    An amazing embroidered boy’s cashmere dress dating to 1855. This particular dress was actually made in Kashmir and imported to Europe, most likely England, for purchase.

  9. Adorable cloth and patent leather shoes with ankle straps made by C. S. Gilman in England in 1851.

    Adorable cloth and patent leather shoes with ankle straps made by C. S. Gilman in England in 1851.

  10. A boy’s suit-style wool dress with very snazzy corded trim dating from between 1850 and 1855.

    A boy’s suit-style wool dress with very snazzy corded trim dating from between 1850 and 1855.