A. Some are described as “flapper coats,” but this isn’t entirely accurate. There was a very active clothing business in New Orleans until the 1850’s when business in stores were stopped. That left flappers as their most profitable product.
Q. Did women do any “trouser work” in Louisiana?
A. No. The women who worked for the flappers in Louisiana didn’t wear high-crown shoes or anything like that. They would often wear loose-fitting shirts.
Cecile Rayfield writes “It may be worth adding that women wore long skirts and low tops to conceal their feet and make them look as if they were barefoot. There certainly was considerable clothing use for women.”
Q. Are there any photos or records from Louisiana showing people in the 19th Century wearing skirts?
A. No. Not one. That all changed in the 20th Century.
During the Civil War American dress standards were set as a standard for the country and women could not wear what they wanted. As a result, women were forced to wear a wide range of clothing from high-low styles that had very little support, to dresses that were barely made of cloth, to skirts that were very low in front. During the New Orleans Revolution during World War I, women began to wear very long skirts. It wasn’t until the turn of the century that people finally started to see the long skirt as just another part of the fashion.
Q. Can you give examples of people wearing the long skirt?
A. The following people have some photographs or records showing that they are wearing a long-sleeve dress with a short skirt:
1. Mary Brinton
2. Elizabeth Johnson
3. Josephine Johnson and George W. Johnson
4. Catherine Lee
5. Nellie Brown
6. Catherine Lee Brown
7. Anne Lee
8. Margaret Lee
9. Lillian Moore
10. Catherine Lee Brown
11. Susan Brown
12. Susan Brown
13. Catherine Lee Brown
14. Nancy Johnson and Sarah Johnson
15. Margaret Brown
16. Jane Ann Brown
17. Margaret Brown
18. Mary Brinton
19. Elizabeth Johnson
20. Ellen Johnson
21. Lizzie Lee
22. Lizzie Lee
23. Lizzie Lee
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