Generally, the nineteenth-century women's fashion It was quite elegant and refined, of a class rich simplicity and charm that still today we can see in paintings, postcards and engravings of the time, “but it is not gold that glitters”.
The clothes that wrapped the body of the 800 women, They were not only a riot of precious fabrics, fluttering and shapes innovative tapes, but also a frequent vehicle…illnesses, especially infectious.
The reason is soon to be said: besides the fact that the hygiene standards They were not yet fully assimilated and respected daily as it will happen in the next century (thanks also, in particular, arrival of’running water in the homes), it often happened that the edge of skirts and cloaks, touching the ground, It was easily contaminated by animal droppings (especially horses, used for pulling carriages), spitting, sewage and anything else.
It goes without saying what all this dirt, then coming into contact with people or objects, dangerously spread in environments, beginning with those of the household but also open to the public, with imaginable consequences.
It was so for hygienic reasons, at a certain point, skirts and cloaks became noticeably shorter (Photo gives: ilclandimariapia.blogspot.it).