C.1873- 1875. A nice example of a working class homemade garment. This waistcoat is styled like a bodice of the period but is meant to be worn over a blouse or your dress bodice as extra warmth during the winter. There were no central heating in homes during the Victorian era and it was a time whn the 'flu could kill you so people made sure they dressed warmly. Apart from being a warmth item, these over bodices were fashionable as well for a short time during the mid 1870's, ladies would take the sleeves off of old bodices and turn them into smart waistcoats. This one is quite plain and would have been worn by a working class or poorer woman.
It's made out of taffeta with a bright scarlet red flannel lining
, there is no boning but there is a peplum
at the back
to go over a bustle. The button holes are all hand fashioned and all the buttons are present. It is does have some damage and wear as it was a poorer class person's garment but it is wearable with care. There are moth holes in the taffeta most of the left
side of the bodice and wear tears to the taffeta at each armpit. Some of the buttons show wear as well. If someone wanted to wear it, I would suggest trimming it up with period trim to cover the damage. The vest is a normal size as well, measurements: Shoulders 16", Bust 36 1/2", Waist 31 1/2", length approx. 19 1/2". (Formerly from the collection of Leila Hidic)