When researching fashion trends of the past it's really hard to tell when the older styles were put aside and forgotten. They usually stay around, being worn by the older folks and those resistant to change, until eventually everyone adopts the new way.
It's kinda like the new iPhones and such. They are the hottest thing in cell phones. But I don't have one. Does that mean my two-year-old phone isn't going to work anymore? I'm going to use it for a long time until it wears out. Eventually I'm sure I'll get some sort of touch phone, but I'll stick with what I have for now.
This is the same sentiment for clothing. I have a favorite skirt from around 2005 that I still wear and isn't much out of style. I'll probably have it in my closet for some time because I love it. And yet, that doesn't prevent me from buying a new skirt today to include in my wardrobe.
All the articles and fashion publications we read from decades past show current trends. Once the new stuff is talked about the old items are lost from the written word.
Take the corded petticoat for instance. Just because the wired crinoline was patented in 1856 doesn't mean the petticoat was discarded immediately. As my five-year-old skirt still is worn, I bet the corded petticoat from 1845 was still worn in 1850 (if it was not worn out of course).
What do you think? How long are fashions worn before they are tossed aside? Would you have continued to wear a corded petticoat when a steel hoop skirt was available?