timeline information
home : timeline : 1890 : timeline information
Corsets and Crinolines - unique vintage clothing

Girl's Day & Evening Bodice's

C.1890-1891. The "masculine" tailored suit became very popular in the early 1890's, especially with the teenagers and the young women of the day, as it represented the "New Woman". This bodice is quite rare as the matching day and evening bodices have survived together.
Economic women often made two bodices to go with a skirt, one for evening and one for day, so you wouldn't have to buy or make two dresses. Usually the evening bodice survives in better condition as it was worn lessk, but my girl who owned this must have been a party animal as the day bodice is in better condition!
Both bodices are made out of a lightweight light pink brocade silk. The day bodice has pleated material at the front and has a false belt at the waist. The sleeves are typical pointed "kick up" sleeves of the early 1890's and end just above wrist level ( a leftover from the 1880's). The back of the bodice still has a mini peplum to go over a small bustle (another remnant of the 1880's). The inside of the bodice is lined in pink cotton and is heavily boned with 10 bones. A stayband is also present. As is common with preteen and teenage bodices, padded bust enhancers or sweat shields are sewn at the side of each breast. This was recommended in dress making books of the time as young girl's figures were considered defincient in that area and needed help to even out the figure!The bust of the day bodice measures 32" (padded), actual is 30", waist is 24", shoulders 13".
The evening bodice has a appropriate, not too low, V shaped neckline at the front and back ,and has short sleeves. The bodice is quite fitted with lots of gores and is pointed at the front and back at the waist. It is very 1880's in style. It's not overly trimmed and would have been modest enough for a young lady to wear to her first grown up events. The bodice is lined in pink cotton, and is a bit more boned than the day bodice with 12 bones, 4 of which remain. The bust is a padded on it as well, but not as much as the day bodice.The bust measures 31" (padded), 30" (unpadded) and she corsetted slightly more for formal wear to a 23" waist. Both bodices have machine and hand stitching.
This c. 1890-1891 photo shows a group of young teenage or pre teen girls all wearing the fashionable tailored bodices similar to mine. All wear skirts that would have been worn with a small bustle.
(Lissa Higgins)