C. 1876- 1878. This bodice would truly show off a hourglass figure. It was said that women's clothing of the late 1870's/early 1880's, revealed the body while concealing it. Bodices of this period were long and very tight fitting, while skirts were long. slender column, the fashion was also the bane of plus sized figured women who did not now have the crinoline or the large bustle to camoflage the figure with! This bodice
would have been worn by a young fashionable woman. It is boned with 10 very long 11 7/8" long metal bones
that go right down to the hips to mould the bodice
to the figure. This bodice would have been worn with a low bustled tight fitting skirt, the "bustle" now being at the back
of the knees. It's made out of a pinky beige silk faille and lined in a non stretch striped cotton sateen. The underarms are in remarkably good condition as the original owner thoughtfully sewed in dress sheilds! Structurally, the back
is still sound and is strong enough to be worn. The only things wrong are cosmetic and can be fixed. There are dark colored little spots on areas at the front of the bodice, this was caused by the original buttons which were
made of a volatile dye which ran onto the bodice during sometime in storage over the past 120 years. I removed the remaining buttons to prevent further damage and replaced them with natural shell buttons (they are modern but authentic).
Thankfully, most of the spotting is on the button side, where the buttons are sewn on so when you do up the bodice, the worst of it is covered up. The neckline needs finishing but this is easily done. Originally it had a greyish/green ribbon sewn around the ruffle (like you see on each sleeve cuff), then the
ribbon ends would have hung down over the front of the neck
, covering up the unfinished fabric. I would get a modern (or antique) ribbon
in a complementary color and just sew it back on! The ribbon around the left cuff just needs tacking back on with some silk or cotton thread. With some cosmetic fixes, this bodice could certainly be worn! A wearable size as well!
Measures approx 16" shoulders, 36" Bust, 24 1/2"- 25" waist, 42" hip. Bodice has a watch
in the front dart. (Formerly from the collection of Leila Hidic)