Shop Print Bustled Ensembles
Calico fabric first gained popularity in the European marketplace, before making its way to the United States. The cheap, unfinished fabric was traded in the 17th Century by Dutch traders. Since cotton and multi-colored fabrics were rare at the time, it became an overnight sensation. After Thomas Bell patented roller printing in 1783, production of calico increased by ten-fold. It eventually made its way to the United States soon after.
In America, maidens would make their best dresses out of the calico fabric to save on cost. The fabric was well suited for summer garments due to its heat resistance and breathability. Frontier women could work all day on the homestead in calico comfortably, with minimal sweat.
Calico bustle gowns were for those who wanted the bustle appearance with a less expensive, breathable fabric. With the excess fabric and details, the gowns were still no doubt luxurious. They gave the lovely southern bell or frontier lass a lavish look on a hot summer's day. No doubt, the likes of Nellie Olsen from the hit series Little House on the Prairie were seen sporting a calico bustle gown.
Other calico bustle styles are reminiscent of days spent by the seaside in the summer. Envision lovely pale calico dresses, pared with a large hat and a parasol. Perhaps they were worn while strolling along the deck at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island, watching the sunset over Lake Michigan or eating a picnic lunch in a field of flowers.
Here at Recollections, we have a variety of calico bustle dresses to choose from. The bodices of the dresses vary greatly, some a deep flattering V and others a front button closure. Most feature shorter sleeves and lace detailing around the cuffs and the neckline.
All of our garments are available in sizes XS to XXXXL. They're proudly designed and created in the United States of America. Our knowledgeable sales staff is here to assist you every step of the way. We look forward to making your next (or first) calico bustle gown!