Brown Silk Bodice with Double-Pointed Waist

Brief Item Record

Title: Brown Silk Bodice with Double-Pointed Waist

Date: 1863 (circa)

Description: brown silk close-fitting bodice with points at waist; neckline high in back and front, with black lace around edge; cut in 3 pieces, one for back, one for each side of front; two darts either side of CF, going from under bust to the two points extending below waist at front; only one point extending below waist in back; CF hook and eye closures, decorative buttons; two rows horizontal lace and braid across bust; dropped shoulder, full-length sleeves, one piece, with dart at back of sleeve from wrist to elbow, triangular insertion or possibly just shaping at inner wrists. button detail, lace and braid trim looping around outside of sleeve; bodice lining cotton; sleeve lining silk, with silk pleating at inner cuff: metal hooks and eyes, cream silk, brown cotton, metal boning; black silk braid

Full Item Record

Dublin Core

Identifier

VC2001167

Title

Brown Silk Bodice with Double-Pointed Waist

Description

brown silk close-fitting bodice with points at waist; neckline high in back and front, with black lace around edge; cut in 3 pieces, one for back, one for each side of front; two darts either side of CF, going from under bust to the two points extending below waist at front; only one point extending below waist in back; CF hook and eye closures, decorative buttons; two rows horizontal lace and braid across bust; dropped shoulder, full-length sleeves, one piece, with dart at back of sleeve from wrist to elbow, triangular insertion or possibly just shaping at inner wrists. button detail, lace and braid trim looping around outside of sleeve; bodice lining cotton; sleeve lining silk, with silk pleating at inner cuff: metal hooks and eyes, cream silk, brown cotton, metal boning; black silk braid

Date

1863 (circa)

Subject

Clothing and dress

Extent

32 inches (chest), 25 inches (waist), 16 inches (center front length), 16.5 inches (center back length), other measurements: neck to shoulder seam=9;shoulder seam to wrist=18

Medium

Type

Physical Object

Temporal Coverage

Rights

http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-EDU/1.0/

Rights Holder

© Vassar College Costume Collection. Images in this collection may be used for teaching, classroom presentation, and research purposes only. For other reuse, reproduction and publication of these images, contact costumeshop@vassar.edu.

Costume Item Type Metadata

Cataloguer with Date

??? 3/1/2010; Margaret Thompson 4/2/2010

Color Main

Chest

32

Waist

25

Center Front Length

16

Center Back Length

16.5

Measurements Other

neck to shoulder seam=9;shoulder seam to wrist=18

All Measurements

32 inches (chest), 25 inches (waist), 16 inches (center front length), 16.5 inches (center back length), other measurements: neck to shoulder seam=9;shoulder seam to wrist=18

Date Earliest

1858

Date Latest

1868

Gender

Classification

costume
clothing

Category

Condition Term

good

Storage Location

K4

Exhibition Notes

The stiff, tight, boned bodice is quite severe. The dark colors, minimal horizontal decorations, and plain coat sleeves combine to give it a somewhat masculine feel, and even a slight militaristic feel. The minimalism and militaristic quality are not unexpected, as the bodice is from the Civil War era. The bodice is also rather large for the time, suggesting that it may have been worn by an older woman. The severity of the style thus might be explained as much by the age of the wearer as by the time period.
Dating these two bodices was a difficult task. As the bodices are definitely intended for wear during the day, they are somewhat simpler and more subdued. Fashions in day dresses changed far less radically than fashions in evening dresses. The associated skirts for these bodices might have helped date them, but it is not surprising the skirts have been lost. They may well have been taken apart, altered, or otherwise reused. Skirts were often designed to go with multiple bodices, and so the skirts associated with these bodices may have seen a great deal of use and simply not survived the last 150 years. The skirt for the earlier bodice, in particular, as it came from the Civil War period, was probably taken apart and reused, as by all accounts ladies in the Civil War were forced to practice some economy in their dress--though admittedly less so in the North, where this bodice in all likelihood originates.
Researched by Margaret Thompson ‘10

Work Type

Citation

“Brown Silk Bodice with Double-Pointed Waist,” Vassar College Costume Collection, accessed May 22, 2024, https://vccc.vassarspaces.net/items/show/1008.