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November 9, 2022

Bustles: Lady’s Popular Undergarment in the Mid-to-Late 19th Century

A bustle is a padded undergarment used to add fullness, or support the drapery, at the back of women's dresses in the mid-to-late 19th century.


Bustles are worn under the skirt in the back, just below the waist, to keep the skirt from dragging. Heavy fabric tended to pull the back of a skirt down and flatten it. As a result a woman’s petticoated skirt would lose its shape during everyday wear (from merely sitting down or moving about).

These elegant photos show Victorian ladies wearing dresses with bustles from between the 1870s and 1890s.






























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