In the Wild West, the old fashion clothing ( ladies ) made use of is always fascinating. The sweeping skirts, long trains and form fitting bodices, which created the famous hour-glass figure, were popular in those times. The trend was known as the Victorian era was hugely popular on a world-wide scale.
At the time, long dresses and skirts were worn with tight fitting bodices and jackets. The buttocks were usually enhanced by means of a bustle. The bustle is a contraption made from metal bands and padding which was fitted to jut out from the hollow of the back.
The bustle could be pivoted to be raised if the woman was sitting and fall back into place when she stood up. A wider skirt was worn over the bustle and it was usually pulled up in a “pannier” look or an apron effect with flounces, ruffles and other such material. The dresses’ bodice was plain, high necked to be tight fitting and came to a point in the front and the back because the focus was to create the elaborate skirt.
The corset was a piece of undergarment that had been worn for centuries to give a woman a tiny waist. The front of this undergarment is boned and formed into princess lines. At the back, ribbons or ties were threaded in a crisscrossed style like laces and pulled until the waist was tiny.
Ties or laces are formed in a crisscrossed style at the back and usually when a woman dressed, someone else would tighten the corset until the waist was measured by the breadth of two hands. This contraption was very unhealthy for a woman and often caused permanent organ damage. Some dressed made consisted of heavy padding that jutted out from the small of her back to make a bubble around the buttocks.
The “leg-of-mutton” or gigot sleeve was a defining factor of dress at that time. It was a sleeve that was tight fitted over the wrist to the elbow and then it flared to form enormous puffs around the upper part of the arm and shoulder. Up to 21 yards of material was sometimes used to create the look and women would have to walk sideways into doorways so that their sleeves were not crushed.
In the 19th century, the old fashion clothing ( ladies ) wore was cumbersome and made movement difficult. As time went by, the trends would change so that the skirts were narrowed and the shirt waist was introduced. This was invariably worn with a waist coat or a jacket still giving the preferred streamlined silhouette of a woman. This look persisted right up into the early part of the 20th century.
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