Welcome to the bustle eras of Victorian fashion. Why the bustle? With the invention of the hoop skirt, women's dresses were able to become very wide at the hem. This allowed for extra ornamentation. By the mid-1860s, overskirts were added to dresses as part of the ornamentation. By the late 1860s, hoop skirts were becoming elliptical, causing the backs of dresses to angle outward. This created a flatter front silhouette with a side benefit of easier movement through doorways! But, all of that extra fabric had to go somewhere, so fullness was added to the rear silhouette and the backs of dress became puffed!
The popularity of the overskirt gave designers like Charles Worth a lot to work with and by 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 meant designers and home sewers had time to spend on trims and ornamentation. This is 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. This made it easier for women to sit normally in a chair. Trains were also very popular at this time.
By the 1880s the skirt was worn closer to the body and long cuirasse bodices created a new silhouette. Overskirts and foundation skirts took on fancy shapes (something had to be done to tame the train), at least somewhat). Focus was put on the hips and overskirt draping was split at the sides so it 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 second bustle era cages resembled a lobster's tail as it was much larger and longer than it's 1870s cousin. The rear of the dress grew to huge proportions, allowing fabrics to smoothly drape over the bustle cage as desired. Lace remained a 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 ball gowns, you will see designs that not only easily fit into one of these eras but are adaptable, giving you a variety of options. Our polonaise gowns are especially at home 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 ball gowns 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. The are available in sizes XS to XXXXL. We also carry a complete line of accessories to help you complete your outfit. Happy shopping!
Recollections © 2014 | Miva Development by 216digital.com
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.