Women's Costume, England, 1796-1820
"After 1795 the bustle was no longer favoured, and the waist was worn higher (Fig. 3). With the coming of the classical, or so-called Empire, period, with the long, clinging skirts, which often trailed on the ground in the back, the waist was extremely high and the neckline low ( Fig.5), especially for evening wear ( fig. 4). But by 1814 skirts were fuller again and shorter to the ankle, and them the hem ws decorated with frill, rolls, or ruchings, so that it hung stiffly out at the bottom ( figs. 6, 8, 9); a fashion which led up to the crinoline."
Source for image and text: Bradfield, Nancy. Historical Costumes of England from the Eleventh to the Twentieth Century. London: George G. Harrap, 1938 ( page131)
From the circulating collection of the Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Philadelphia