Many fashion trends are loved by some and loathed by others. I’ve always been a big fan of the bustle; especially the outrageously large ones of the 1880s. The bustle, a pad or framework worn under a dress to support the back drapery of the skirt, became very popular in the early 1870s. It came back into fashion about ten years later and was at its most exaggerated around 1885. At that time, the perfect bustle was so prominent and substantial that a tea tray could be comfortably balanced upon it.
|Fashion plate showing bustled dresses, mid-1880s, from Wikipedia Commons|
|Portrait of an unidentified couple, 1880s|
Advertisement for Langtry bustles, for sale in Elmira atDey Brothers, Durland & Pratt, and B. Erlich & Son, 1888
Bustles in CCHS's collection, 1880s, left to right: padded bustle; bustle made
of three coiled metal springs with cotton cover; metal mesh bustle
|Cage crinoline/bustle combination, 1883|
|Group portrait of ladies wearing dresses with bustles, 1880s|