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Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
1 Peter 3:3,4
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
1 Timothy 2:9,10




Hoop Skirts or Crinoline


The next are the ladies, the sweet little dears

At the ball and the parties, how nice they appear,

With whalebone and corsets, themselves they will squeeze,

You'll have to unlace them before they can sneeze.

The ladies must all have their silks and their laces

And things they call bonnets to show off their faces

But their figure, however, can never be seen,

For they are hooped like a barrel, with French crinoline.



From Google Answers:

Question: I am looking for a guide on how to move in a hoop skirt. I will be wearing an authentic civil war dress with all the underpinnings - corset, layers of skirts, a 160" hoop, and so on. I need to find instructions for walking, sitting, navigating stairs and doors, and dancing - and looking graceful while doing it. I have already found the simple tips ("lift the front of your skirt when going up stairs") and I am looking for something with a bit more detail and helpfulness. Thank you for taking on my question.

Answer: I had the privilege of wearing a hoop skirt, a real hoop skirt, complete with an actual hoop when I attended the Gone With The Wind Anniversary Costume Ball in Atlanta, Georgia. It was an interesting experience in coping. Fortunately, I trained at home." "My home is NOT an a plantation house with wide entranceways, halls and staircases. When I tried on my antebellum gown, everything within six inches of the floor was either dusted or knocked over. Sitting was fun. I quickly discovered one has to sit in the center of the hoop, and not on the back, or else the front of the hoop lifts to reveal one's pantaloons.

Answer: Fifty years ago in my hometown in the Deep South, hoop skirts were still worn at high school fraternity and sorority balls. As I remember, the graceful way to walk in one is by pausing briefly with each step to let the skirt swing. Practice walking with a book on your head to learn good posture and a more decorum. Don't know about sitting, the difficulty being that too stiff hoops will rise up in front (and show your pantaloons). Narrow doors are to be avoided, otherwise lift the skirt on the less exposed side.



What did Ellen G. White say about hoops?

The hoops are a shame. {2SG 227.1} We must dress modestly, without the least regard to the hoop fashion. {CH 604.3}

We do not think it in accordance with our faith to dress in the American costume, to wear hoops, or to go to an extreme in wearing long dresses which sweep the sidewalks and streets. If women would wear their dresses so as to clear the filth of the streets an inch or two, their dresses would be modest, and they could be kept clean much more easily and would wear longer. Such a dress would be in accordance with our faith.--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 424 (1864).

Their garments being kept from the body by hoops, it is impossible for them to receive sufficient warmth from their clothing, and their limbs are continually bathed in cold air. {2SM 469.3}

Among these pernicious fashions were the large hoops, which frequently caused indecent exposure of the person. {CH 599.2}

Many make vain excuses for wearing hoops. They cannot endure the idea of being peculiar. I saw that Sabbath-keepers should not give the least influence to a fashion carried to such a ridiculous length. {2SG 286.2}

From what has been shown me, hoops are an abomination. {4bSG 66.1}

I have traveled much, and have seen a great deal of inconvenience attending the wearing of hoops;…While traveling in the cars and stages I have often been led to exclaim, O modesty, where is thy blush? I have seen large companies crowding into the cars, and in order to make any headway, the hoops had to be raised and placed into a shape which was indecent. {4bSG 68.1}

Hoops, I was shown, are an abomination, and every Sabbathkeeper's influence should be a rebuke to this ridiculous fashion, which has been a screen to iniquity, and which arose from a house of ill fame in Paris. {1T 269.2}

Because, under certain circumstances, it is, to say the least, not the most modest, on account of exposures of the female form. This evil is greatly aggravated by the wearing of hoops. Ladies with long dresses, especially if distended with hoops, as they go up and down stairs, as they pass up the narrow door-way of the coach and the omnibus, or as they raise their skirts, to clear the mud of the streets, sometimes expose the form to that degree as to put modesty to the blush.

{HR, August 1, 1868 par. 19}

When hoops were in fashion, we were pained to listen to the arguments of many professed Christian women for the necessity of wearing them for the health. They could walk better and work better. {HR, January 1, 1877 par. 6}

When the large hoops were fashionable, many of our sisters became much interested in their health. They thought that they could work and walk so much easier. They did not wear them, they urged, because they were fashionable, but because they were cool in summer and an advantage healthwise. This we failed to see. If they were conducive to health in summer, what about the winter? they were worn in winter as well as in summer. If they were so necessary to health then, why do they not wear them now they are out of fashion? {PH123 65.1}

I have been thinking long and patiently upon what you said to me in regard to your wearing hoops. I am prepared to answer: Do not put on hoops by any means. I believe that God will have His people distinct from the nations around them. They are peculiar and should we strive to abolish or put away every sign that marks us as peculiar? No, no; let us preserve the signs which distinguish us in dress, as well as articles of faith. By putting on hoops, however small, you not only give countenance, but a powerful influence to this ridiculous fashion, and you place yourself where you could not reprove those who may choose to wear the larger hoops. Stand clear from this disgusting fashion. My mouth is open. I shall speak plain upon hoops in the next Review.--Letter 5, 1861. (To Mary Loughborough, June 6, 1861.) {5MR 378.4}

The more I dwell upon this matter, the plainer is it to me that the wearing of hoops is one of the abominations of the land that God would have us utterly discard. Our practice and example should be a standing rebuke to this ridiculous fashion.--Letter 6, 1861. (To Mary Loughborough, June 17, 1861.) {5MR 379.2}