This bodice/shirtwaist dates from the very late 1890's. I use both terms as shirtwaists were beginning to become quite popular instead of the heavily boned structured bodice that had dominated women's fashion for centuries. However, its not as loose and blousey as Edwardian waists would become.
Despite its blousey shirtwaist appearance it hides the fact that its still mounted on a structured lining. The lining (which fastened separately) was seamed quite tightly fitting like a regular bodice and also has bones in it. The outside "blouse" would be fastened closed with buttons and then the pull strings tightened around the waist to bag out the material in front to create the pigeon front effect. Whoever owned this bodice quickly
caught up with the times during the 1900's as they let out the seams in the lining so it wouldn't be tight fitting and removed the bones, turning it into a real loose fitting Gibson girl shirtwaist.
Measurements of the lining, before it was let out: neck: 13", shoulders 13", bust 38" waist 30". With the lining let out, the blouse can fit up to a 44" bust.
Made of very heavy silk satin, with printed criss cross lines on it. The neckline would have been worn with a removable stiff collar.
(Formerly L. Hidic)