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Lord & Taylor Dinner Dress | c. 1877–83 | Met Museum
Bust improvers, 1880s-90s
La Mode Illustrée, September 1886
Day Dress | 1886 | Met Museum
I’m ending with the late bustle period, because it seems a good quitting place and is a fun juxtaposition with the requested early bustle period of the 1870s. Quite suddenly around 1883, bustles returned with a vengeance - but they were changed from the first bustle styles. These retained the slim, flat hips of the prior natural form period, creating a dramatic “shelf” at the back of a woman’s skirts that remained until the late 1880s, when it disappeared forever.
Day and Fancy Dress Costumes, 1881
Skirts collapsed in the late 1870s and remained slim and figure-fitted until the early 1880s. Here we see more focus on lacing corsets more tightly, since illusion from wide skirts is lost and bodices are tight. While there are no bustles, “bustled” fabric aprons and overskirts are extremely common. Trains are also widely worn and popular.
EXTREME beaded cape | Met Museum | c. 1887
Dress || Met Museum || 1880
Day Dress | 1880 | Met Museum