Winter bustles (and new shoes!)

I know, it’s the middle of July, and where I am it’s the middle of summer. Despite that, I’m doing a post with pictures of winter bustle dresses. The main reason is that I got new shoes! American Duchess was having a sale, and I couldn’t resist, and I got the Victoria carriage boots. They’re black winter boots with bows in the front, and I really love them. It’s quite difficult to find proper warm winter boots that look good underneath a skirt, so I splurged, and suspect I’ll wear them quite a bit out of costume as well!

They’re so pretty!


Of course, having Victorian winter boots got me dreaming about wool and fur bustle dresses. So now I want to make one. I have a lot of fabric for other planned projects though, so who knows if and when that’ll happen, but until then, inspiration pictures!

Let’s start with some early bustle beauties.

La Saison 1874

Les Modes Parisiennes 1872

Les Modes Parisiennes 1874

Le Moniteur de la Mode 1874

La Gazette Rose 1873

The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine


There are also some beautiful examples from the 1880’s.

La Mode Francaise 1887

Le Salon de la Mode 1886

Der Bazar 1883

dessin original : ANONYME VERS 1870 N°9

1880s winter ensembles


Aside from these colored plates, I also found some black-white examples. I particularly love all the braiding on the first one.

early 1880s winter ensemble

1883 Winter

Written on border: "Jan. 1883" Printed on border: "No. 8." "Cloth and fur, either brown or grey. The under-skirt is edged with plaiting, and the over one is turetted. The readingote has a shoulder cap[e] and cuffs trimmed with fur. The waistband is fastened with a smoke[d] pearl buckle. Pattern of redingote, 3s. 1d."


9 thoughts on “Winter bustles (and new shoes!)

    • There are some small differences, although I have to say it’s easier to determine with fashion plates than with actual dresses, as plates all copy the same ideal figure. Generally speaking though; ’70s has a higher waist, and the bustle flares out from a bit higher. You see more trains (almost always) in the ’70’s than in the ’80s (only very formal gowns), the skirt shapes in the ’70s are mostly symmetrical while in the ’80s asymmetrical became more popular and the ’70s dresses are generally more heavily trimmed. And in the ’70s you have more width in the skirt hem. It still stands out a bit more, getting wider towards the bottom (certainly in the back). In the ’80’s its more straight down from the bustle.
      This is also a good article 🙂

  1. I want all of these fur trimmed ensembles! How (or where?) I would wear them all I don’t know… but I want them! I, too, have the carriage boots and love them with modern skirts for winter. They are comfy, warm, and cute!


  2. It’s like you’ve read my mind! I have a post queued for next week with winter fashion plates (which is totally appropriate now that half my country is buried in snow right now thanks to a big storm…)
    I recently made a faux fur muff and absolutely love it – I’ve also been toying with the idea or using the leftover fur to trim an overskirt or making detachable cuffs for one of my bodices…
    Fur just adds such an element of elegance and luxury doesn’t it? (I would only ever use faux though =)

    • I’ll keep an eye out for your post! I also made a muff in the past for a regency ensemble and it was great for a cold winter event. And the fur really does provide the finishing touch to make a really wintery dress, though I’m with you on the faux thing :).

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