Shop All Bustled Styles
With the invention of the hoop skirt, women's dresses became very wide at the hem and allowed for extra ornamentation. During the mid-1860s, overskirts were added to dresses for ornamentation. By the late 1860s, hoop skirts became elliptical, causing the backs of dresses to angle outward. This created a flattering front silhouette with the benefit of easier movement through doorways. All of that extra fabric had to go somewhere, so fullness was added to the rear silhouette. The backs of dress became puffed, creating the bustle skirt.
The popularity of the overskirt gave designers like Charles Worth a lot to work with. During the 1870s, the hoop was replaced with the cage crinoline. The silhouette was now flat in the front and bustled in the rear. The advent of the sewing machine gave designers and home sewers more time to spend on trims and ornamentation, the trademark of the 1870s bustle period. Ruffles, ruches and other forms of draping became popular, even at the front of the dress. Bows, braids, rosettes, and lace were also popular features.
By the mid-1870s, the cage crinoline was waning. Natural dress was gaining popularity and the cage was replaced with a bustle pad for those who needed a little extra foundation. The bustle pad made it easier for women to sit normally in a chair, compared to the cage crinoline. Trains were also very popular at this time.
During the 1880s, the skirt was worn closer to the body and long cuirasse bodices created a new silhouette. Overskirts and foundation skirts took on new shapes. Focus was put on the hips and overskirt draping was split at the sides, so the skirt could be lifted to the hips.
The lifting of overskirts once again evolved into the fabric ending up at the rear of the dress. By 1883, the bustle returned. The cages of the second bustle era resembled a lobster's tail. They were much larger and longer than their 1870s cousins. The rear of the dress grew to huge proportions, allowing fabrics to smoothly drape over the bustle cage as desired. Lace remained popular but the frills of the previous decade were gone. By 1889, the puff was moving to the sleeve and the bustle quickly faded for good.
As you shop our bustled pieces, you'll see interchangeable designs that easily fit into one of these eras. Our polonaise gowns were especially popular during the mid-1870s but are easily adaptable to the late bustle era of the 1880s. We carry a line of bustles to help you achieve the look you desire.
Our bustled pieces are elegantly tailored and exquisitely designed. Many are made of beautiful fabrics such as damask, taffeta, dupioni, satin, and velvet. We even feature designs made of machine washable cottons!
All Recollections garments are proudly designed and manufactured in the United States of America. They are available in sizes XS to XXXXL. We also carry a complete line of accessories to help you complete your outfit. Happy shopping!