Below is a sampling of dresses from the Metropolitan Museum of Arts from 1840 to 1850. Necklines are up; sleeves are longer, skirts are a bit fuller. You’ll see, though, as the years progressed, the skirts widen, as well as the sleeves. I’ll write next about the dangerous years of arsenic in fabrics and highly flammable crinoline. Frankly, I prefer the simplicity of these fashions in the early Victorian years.