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Early 1880's Sidesaddle Habit

Early 1880
This cabinet card dates to the first half of the 1880's. The habit looks very much like 1880's day dress (minus the bustle), with the button up bodice and the severe look of 1880's costume. The top hat would have been made out of silk and has a spotted veil tied around the crown to feminize the look. The bodice is cut like a day bodice, but probably with slightly less boning in it and looser sleeves to allow movement when riding. Sidesaddle aprons (this is what a sidesaddle skirts are called), had always been cut very full allowing the wearer to look very elegant on horseback. They got narrower the 1890's giving us today the modern apron.
(L. Hidic)