Shop Off the Shoulder

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Jayne Gray Silk Victorian Ball Gown
Janina Victorian Style Cotton Ball Gown
Rosetta Belle Victorian Gown
Victorian Southern Belle Ball Gown

Throughout the Victorian era, evening dresses with low necklines exposing the shoulders and the collar bone were popular. Compared to the daywear of the era, the evening dresses showed a lot of skin. Shawls became essential for modesty, along with lace fichus. It was also common for two corsets to be made for the same ensemble, one for day and one for night. The corset bodice would have a higher neckline for daywear, while the night corset would have a lower neckline for evening wear.

The off the shoulder neckline is also known as the bertha. The bertha had many layers of lace flounces on the top hemline. These flounces could be 3 to 6 inches deep! The bodice could also be covered with several flounces of lace, to further the extravagant decoration. The sleeves were often shaped like large bells to balance the bertha and large skirt of the gown. Detachable undersleeves called engageantes were attached under the sleeve. They not only protected the gown's sleeves, but also added volume.

Here at Recollections, we carry a range of off the shoulder gowns. Suited for balls and large fashionable affairs, our gowns come in darker denser winter fabrics and lighter summer prints. All of our gowns are available in sizes XS to XXXXL and made in the USA. We hope to help you find your next (or first) off the shoulder ball gown!

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