Finally, difinitive hoops skirt sizing!!!!!

If you find a passage from an original source that contains answers to your questions, post it here for others to read as well.
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Finally, difinitive hoops skirt sizing!!!!!

Postby Heather » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:30 am


I ran across this tidbit about a month ago, and really is the whole reason for this section of the board. This is such a huge question, and there has never been an answer before.

The question? How big where the hoops worn during the Civil War period? Up until this discovery, we could only measure photos and make guesses. Any writen references to hoop size only said "larger than last season," etc. But what was the size last year?

So here it is..... drum roll please.....

An advertisement for a hoop skirt company from 1865, found in the Godeys Ladys Book, June 1865 issue, page 566. (Also interesting as this same advertisement is found in May, but it lacks the sizing statement.) The exact passage of interest:

These Skirts also measure in circumference at the bottom from two and one half to four yards.

This translates to hoop sizes of 90" for the smallest hoops and up to 144" for the largest hoop.

So no, TV141 hoop skirt at 126" is not too big for reencators (you can easily go even bigger,) and anything smaller than 90" is way too small.

Also to note is the conical nature of the hoop for this year. Post 1862, the skirts are conical in shape, not the dome shape currently prefered by some reenactors. The dome shape is correct for 1856-1862.

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Postby ginnymorgan » Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:20 pm

great info! Thanks, Heather..Thsi will be a great resource!
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Postby valleyviolet » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:42 pm

Sweet. It's nice to know I could go all the way down to 90" for more practical day clothes without being ridiculed. :)
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