No background history accompanied this dress about who wore it. However, it is a classic example of day dresses of the period. Before the introduction of hoops as underpinnings, several petticoats would have been worn to create the bell shape of the skirt. In contrast to hoops that would keep the fabric from falling in, the skirts in these dresses gently fold in and out. Women reformers criticized the weight of the numbers of petticoats required to create this look (as well as the dragging skirts) as unhealthy and suggested alternative forms of dress, including the Bloomer Costume. They were not successful, partly because the introduction of the hoop lessened the weight. Exhibited in Men and Women: A History of Costume, Gender and Power in America from 1989 to 1991.