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1850s

The 1850s brought with it an unprecedented quality of fashion goods and a number of new, widespread styles. The growing stability of the national economy allowed more average Americans to dress fashionably, and the gap between the rich and the poor and the urban and rural dwellers began to shrink. The sewing machine was available for commercial use, resulting in the growth of textile mills and readymade clothes, especially for men. The Singer home sewing machine was patented in 1851, allowing women to more easily make their own clothes. The rise of clothing patterns and the wider circulation of ladies' magazines allowed many to keep up-to-date with fashionable attire.

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