1870s - 1890s
The 1870s marked the end of the Civil War and a sense of Modernity saw the silhouette change to one that was more practical, the emphasis was pushed to the back by a Soft Bustle. (So, it created a large butt.) In the 1880s, they wore the Hard Bustle, It had a larger backside than the Soft Bustle and was made out of metal wire. The bonnet was replaced with small hats that were high at the front and/or tilted forward to help balance the silhouette.
In the middle of the 19th century, fashion starts working the way as we know it to today, like fashion magazines Harper's Bazaar and later on Vogue (1892).
The father of Haute Couture was Charles Frederick Worth. He had fashion collections and was the first designer who used models to present his collections. After the presentation, he tailored it due his clients' size. So, he started 'the system', as the first Fashion Designer!
The 1880s or the 'Belle Epoque' was an era marked by art, entertainment and when the working class could partake of some of the fun. It was a golden age with a lot of new technologies. Inventions like electricity really changed the world (+ nightlife) and impacted fashion quite directly.
Fashion responded in the 1890s to this exciting new world with a totally new silhouette. This increasingly active world meant that woman needed to be mobile ( for cycling, dancing,... ).
So Bustles disappeared in lieu of more practical, they wore A-line skirts and Leg o'Mutton sleeves (like Gigot sleeves).
Note: Why this large sleeves? It was fashionable to have some volume (as you noticed throughout the centuries). They created volume on the sleeves, because the other parts had to be practical for movement.
Woman also started to wear real suits, with 'shirtwaists', a skirt and Leg o-Mutton sleeves.
We also see the first active wear, like swimming suits and bloomers (as a cycling outfit).
Men were still wearing the suit (pants, jacket, shirt). Also striped blazers were very popular in this era.
The world changed so quickly in the 1900s, with inventions like cars etc.. But more about that in our next post! I can't believe we already arrived in the 20th Century! Till then!
Go have a look at Margo's beautiful drawings! And know more about their beauty and cosmetics!
Book : fashion design 1800-1940 (The Pepin Press)
Book : Fashion - Volume I + II (Taschen)