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Ladies' Bodice
circa late 1850s- early 1860s

Costume presented as a courtesy of:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Dept. of Fashion Design & Merchandising

Side View
Circa late 1850s- early 1860s

Accession number:


The pagoda sleeves are embellished with aqua-colored silk ribbon. The pagoda shape is narrow at the top and wide at the bottom. The bell of this pagoda is tapered at the hemline. The sleeve edges are garnished with beige fringe that was fashionable during the late 1850s. Above the pagoda sleeves you can clearly see two rows of ruching on the upper arm. The sleeve cap is off the natural shoulder line, just above the upper row of ruching.

Note, the curvature of the bodice back. This was caused by years of corset wearing. The corset pushed the upper torso fullness to shift to the upper shoulder blades. This caused a rounding effect of the back. By the 1870s & 1880s, corsets would also effect the shaping of the shoulders.

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