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Our blog features our picks of the freshest vintage items, member news and articles. We have also created a growing series of articles on some classic designers.
The Vintage Fashion Guild™ (VFG) is an international organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of vintage fashion.
The Vintage Fashion Guild™ (VFG) is an international community of people with expertise in vintage fashion. VFG members enjoy a wealth of resources, avenues for promoting their shops and specialties, and camaraderie with others who share a common interest and passion.
Popular demand brought back the bustle in 1883, but it was now worn at a lower placement with a narrower width. Dresses worn over this new frame were sturdier, constructed in heavier fabrics such as velvet, satin, and wool. Colors were darker; e.g., bottle green, deep wine, navy blue, and black. Mercifully, cotton and linen were used for summer. Drapery was stiffer and considerably more rigid than in the 1870s.
This was a decade of severely tight, restrictive corsetry that was worn (or endured) under dresses with long, boned bodices; tight sleeves; and high necklines. A very modest and even prudish look on the surface, this silhouette was so torso-defining that a woman’s shape could hardly go unnoticed. Skirts were almost always layered and draped, often with an apron front and a trained back. Pleating was everywhere, both in skirt construction and in trimming. With all of this going on, dresses could weigh 15 to 20 pounds!
Written by The Vintage Fashion Guild
1880 French silk damask gown
1881 gold reception gown
Early 1880s silk evening dress
1882 floral silk gown w/ Watteau back
1885 silk & velvet dress
1885 silk and feather evening dress from R.H. White & Co. (Boston department store)
1888 silk afternoon dress by Charles Frederick Worth