Styles of colonial dress would vary depending on the different occasions. Similar to other historical periods, colonial women dressed according to their occupation, economic power, and social status. Formal gowns were worn by colonial women to special occasions (such as a ball) were typically made of silk, featuring crisp ruffles and frills along the bottom of the gown and around the elbows. A bodice was layered over a corset for formal gowns. A petticoat, and occasionally a stay (or corset), were worn underneath the gowns.