1800s Fashion: 1870s to 1890s

The final instalment of the 1800s Fashion and finally after it, one hopes I will be making some period inspired clothes. But I have to tell you, this new job of mine, is coming out of nye ears. I can’t remember when it was the last time I was so busy, but back to our subject.


Bustle_c._1885Fashion doesn’t change dramatically in the last 3 decades of the 19th century. Women celebrate (at least I would) the loss of the crinoline as we gradually return to a narrow silhouette where all the fulness is at the back of the skirt. Alas my friends, for it to be kept there another torturous (well not exactly) device was invented, the bustle.

Does my bum look big in this? Yes it does...

Does my bum look big in this? Yes it does…

The bustle is used well into the 1880s emphasising the back of the skirt. I have seen episodes upon episodes of Project Runway, with Michael Kors repeating over and over, ‘no woman wants to look big around her bum’, apparently during that period that’s exactly what they wanted.

S/hourglass silhouette

Luckily major changes in the fashion take place in the last decade of the century, which finally sends away the crinolines, but keeps the corset, to create every woman’s dream (?) the hour glass silhouette. Oh, how we love to suffer.

A line

The skirt is gathered around the waist and is slightly fitted on the hips but falls more naturally on the body, resembling an A line skirt.



So now that women can’t have big skirts, they decide to go back to big sleeves and the hideous (and say what you like) leg o’ mutton, which remains in fashion till the beginning of 20th century. But this is the story of another era, yet to be explored. But so that I don’t feel alone in this, was there any particular feature of the 19th century fashion you absolutely hated?

Making a Hoop Crinoline - Step 10 - Natasha Morgan  Art Dolls

An art doll with a crinoline by Natasha Morgan and her extraordinary art dolls. Photography (c) Natasha Morgan

All other pics from wikipedia

About delightfullypeculiar

I'm Vasi, Greek living in the U.K. I wouldn't call this blog my sewing journey but an attempt to make and do the things that make me happy, sewing being one of them.
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