C.1895-1896. This bodice is really comfy to wear. I've often worn it to Victorian events where I known that I'd be eating a lot and don't want to corset too tight or wear one at all. I think the original owner had the same idea too, as she put two sets of hook 'n eyes on
the stayband inside to change waist sizes.
Made of leaf patterned light weight wool with a satin yoke, the bodice features huge melon sleeves (there were two styles of sleeves in the mid 1890's that were "hugely" popular, the
Leg o mutton and the Melon). It would have been worn by a working class lady as her best dress, or a middle class lady as an everyday dress. It's lined in lightweight denim and was heavily boned (although most of the bones have been taken out). It's well made and could be worn with or without a corset depending if you were having a fat day or skinny day!
The bust measures 47". The actual waist of the bodice measures 38" if you don't wear the stayband on the inside. The stayband measures 34" at the smallest but she added an extension to take it 36" depending on how much she decided to corset. The lady who owned this was tall, about 5'8"- 5'9".
(Formerly L. Hidic)