Friday, January 13, 2017

Natural Form Bodice and Turn of the Century Shirtwaist

From the seller:

This auction includes a gorgeous blue velvet jacket or coat, and a white linen muslin shirt with the ruffle , circa 1880s.
The jacket features a beautiful satin lining with an interior pocket, book ended by matching bows. The top of the pocket is pleaded and there is velvet contrast across the pocket front. The initials KBP is embroidered on a piece of satin attached to the inside of the jacket.

All of the buttons have been removed from the jacket. It still has the metal closure at the neck. It is in excellent condition but has not been laundered. There is one tiny opening on the inside left sleeve about the size of a pea. Does not extend to the lining. It measures 16" inches across the flat bust, 12 1/2" inches across the flat waist, 17" at hip and 21" shoulder to sleeve cuff. It measures 14 inches across the back shoulders.

I am throwing the shirt in as a freebie. It has not been laundered and has some soiling. It features a fabulous ruffle on the front bottoms and it buttons in the back. All 17 buttons are present and accounted for. It features lace floral embellishments at the elbow and cuff. There is a tear in the back of the ruffle about size quarter.

From Me:

It's horrible that the buttons were removed but at least we can still see the exquisite detailing of this winter bodice! Check out the little pocket inside the bodice or that fabulous bit of embroidery which, I assume, was the original owner's initials.

1879 fashion Plate

Although the cut is different in a number of ways, I'm looking at the yellow dress on the far left. Notice how her collar dips back a bit? This seems to be a Natural Form thing as you don't see that much in the second bustle. The collar on this extant bodice does that too.

1880 Fashion Plate

The red dress on the far left has the same collar shaping going on.

As for the shirtwaist, any time between 1898-1903 really.  Here is a photo of a group of ladies from 1902 with one wearing a similar blouse:
1902 Photograph

1899 Fashion Plate
Although the wedding gown is far more fancy than this extant blouse, the lines for trimming are the same.  


  1. Even more precious on the inside - that pocket! Such detailing.

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