Women at this time where portraited as sweet, fragile puppets, their sole purpose in life to be good wifes and mother, with Queen Victoria as their rolemodel.Ofcourse not all women fitted that description, around 1830, a movement begun of women who wore clothes which where an adaptation of the male costume, the only part of the costume which remained the same where the wide skirts. They where independent, often artistic women. Not only did they look more like men they behaved more like men as well, they drank, smoked cigarettes and pipes, had lovers, walked with walking caines, could handle the whip and gun.
One of the better know ladies of this movement is the french writer and poet Georges Sand (above)
A group of women with top hats in a ratpit an activity usually reserved for men. Judging by the costume this drawing dates to ca. 1878, the natural form period.
source: Cultuur en kleedgedrag in de 20e eeuw - Bettie Aaftink en Corlyn Bol