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Though fashion plates depict women wearing floor length hemlines, photographs of women at work, or engaged in physical activities show shorter hemlines. Daytime and Evening Wear. For day, women usually wore two piece outfits consisting of a skirt and bodice or shirtwaist. A bodice was a tight upper body garment often supported with built in In the early 19th century in America, women had different experiences of life depending on what groups they were part of. A dominant ideology at the beginning of the 1800s was called Republican Motherhood: middle- and upper-class white women were expected to educate the young to be good citizens of the new country.