We have plenty of polonaise ensembles on the Recollections website, all of which are beautifully handcrafted outfits with enormous amounts of fabric. But what exactly is a polonaise? Well, it isn’t the traditional Polish folk dance, even though the outfits are inspired by this. The polonaise is taken from Polish folk costumes and consists of a form-fitting bodice and an underskirt that is draped by an overskirt with a slit in the middle. The overskirt can stand alone or be attached to the top half of the gown. The trend began in the 1700s and peaked again in the late 1800s. The popular bustle looked similar to the polonaise of earlier times, and so it came back into vogue organically.

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The term polonaise morphed from its original meaning to its 1870 definition as it was applied to other similar looking garments. The jacket style with an underskirt, which is what you can find the most of in the Recollections closet, is the most popular 1870s definition of a polonaise. Drapery was optional, and the only real requirement was that there is an underskirt with some kind of fabric atop it. This morphing of definition continued into the Edwardian era, as the polonaise got revamped to include the sheath dresses that were already popular. With this style, the polonaise jacket draped over a straight skirt and was high-waisted. However, the term was not used for clothing anymore in the twentieth century except in the rare case of fashion designers.

Polonaise was a fashion that was available from over three-hundred years ago up to the present day. Because it is such a vital part of fashion history, it is perhaps one of the most versatile pieces you can own. Recollections can provide you with the most beautiful polonaise ensembles on the market. Take a look at our Victorian ensembles—we know that you won’t be disappointed with what you find.