There were three distinct fashion trends during the Victorian era, and all are considered "Bustle Dresses". These were the Early Bustle period (1869-1876), the Natural Form period (1877-1882), and the Late Bustle period (1883-1889). The combination of a tight bodice and a very full skirt with bustle and drapery was thought to enhance the look of a tiny waist. A 15-inch waist was considered ideal, and fashion plates of the day always illustrated women with impossibly small "wasp waists". Read more on the Recollections Blog.....
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Most people find that our sizing runs generously. If you are undecided with which size to order, it is best to order the smaller size, or give us a call to assist you (1-800-452-5925). You may also email us at email@example.com with your measurements (bust and waist) and we can help you choose the nearest size.
An exception to the generous sizing is the type of ball gown that requires boning in the bodice and that supports a heavy skirt. Many times this style is also "off-the-shoulder" and requires a firm fit to stay up. These styles tend to not run as generously as most of our other garments because of this. But please, give us a call if you are uncertain.
In most cases you should take your bust and waist measurement to determine your size. Please wear the undergarments that you intend to wear when you do your measuring. For example, take your measurement over the type of brassiere or corset that you may be wearing.
Measure the fullest part of your bust around and the smallest part of your waist.