In 1889 the bustle began to fade, possibly joined by its wearers! By 1891 just a tiny pad remained. The gathers at the back of the skirt remained until 1900. With the decline of the bustle, sleeves began to grow and the 1830s hourglass revival was well underway. Sleeves ballooned to proportions never seen before or indeed since – reaching their height in 1895-96. Leg O’ Mutton, Melon, Gigot and Balloon were a few of the names given to this sleeve. Skirts became flared and gored, even circular. Tiny boned bodice waists were emphasized with a point in front. Evening dresses often sported elbow length sleeves.
Silhouette slimmed and elongated considerably in 1897. Sleeves began to reduce in size and skirts were fashioned to be slim over the hips. Bodices began to have fullness at the front, which developed into the pigeon breast or monobosom shape of the early 20th century. Necklines rose even higher, supported by very high boned collars.
Written by The Vintage Fashion Guild