This article accompanies the fable
It can't have been easy "following the fashion" in Austen's time. That's the name of the satirical caricature below by James Gillray from 1794. Gillray is mocking the high-waisted dresses of the time, with the aristocratic woman on the left (from St. James) and the nouveau riche hopeful from central London on the right (from Cheapside). The higher those waists got, the harder it got to follow the fashion. Which was the point...
Below is a similar Gillray caricature from 1796 in which male selfishness pushes the women into the street.
For more Gillray caricatures, here.