How many times have you heard the phrase, ‘Does my bum look big in this?’ Well in Victorian England that was not a question said out of concern for your booty looking too big, but rather too small. As Nicki Minaj has set the trend for big bums today so did the Victorian bustle.
The Bustle was originally invented to prevent the skirt of a ladies dress from dragging and getting ruined on the floor, we’ve all seen those period dramas, Victorian England was not a clean place! As is the case today, the Victorians were obsessed with the shape of women’s waists; corsets were used to help take inches of the waist of a lady, but here’s also where the bustle came into play. It was noted that if you could exaggerate the bottom area, it helped to increase the look of a smaller waist. And so the Bustle was born! (In 1869 to be precise)
As is the case with fashion, the bustle developed. It became fashionable to have bigger and bigger bustles. In fact a very popular Music Hall song of the day was ‘I like big bustles and I can not lie’, (I kid!). But sadly as in all things the bustle did not last. As the corset slipt from fashion, the need for the bustle was no longer there. By 1905 the use of bustle was gone. It occasionally rears its head in bridal gowns. But ladies I am glad to say it won’t be coming back into fashion anytime soon, enjoy the freedom of jeans and miniskirts!