"In my ordinary evening costume I took up the room of three men at least"
1860s fashion in European clothing was characterized by extremely full-skirted women's fashions relying on crinolines and hoops.
Skirts were at their widest in the 1850s and early 1860s (the novel was published in 1860). After about 1862 the silhouette of the crinoline changed, from bell-shaped to being flatter in front and more projected behind.
Morning dresses featured wide pagoda sleeves and high necklines with lace or tatted collars.
Evening gowns had low necklines and short sleeves, and were worn with short gloves or lace or crocheted mitts. Heavy silks in solid colors were fashionable for both day and evening wear.