The bustle can be considered an evolution of the crinoline. It, like the crinoline, is a frame used to enlarge a woman’s hips, leaving the back or hips accentuated.
The bustle came into fashion shortly after the end of the Franco-Prussian war in 1871, and was used until the 1880s, when it was replaced by a more delicate type of support, until it was no longer used, circa 1910.
Within the short period in which it was used, the bustle underwent changes, being itself the transformation of the crinoline, as said before.
Between the decades of 1850 to 1870, the crinoline underwent some alternations that resulted in changes in the trim of the skirts in the front and sides. To fix such trim, the skirt support, until then known as crinoline, was transformed into a different piece called bustle.
In this first phase, the bustle was also known as crinolette and began to be used in 1870.
The main characteristic of this type of bustle is the presence of 3 or 4 hoops in the back to serve as support for the skirt. There are also some models with the same hoops on the hems of the skirts, which were intended to made the skirt’s opening different from that of the old crinoline.
1875 was the year in which the bustle was at its height and, because of it, changes in the skirts were made. They became the center of attention, and began to be decorated in many different ways.
However, in the following year, the bustle quickly became out of fashion and stopped being used and thus the problem arose of how to deal with the excess of fabrics present in the back of the skirts, generated by the lack of the garment.
From there, a new, more natural type of silhouette emerged, and with it, in place of the traditional bustle, a support with a few cushions to improve the fit of the skirts started being used. The metallic frames were no longer necessary, giving way to the simplest ones made of fabrics, and, soon after, they were no longer used for good, starting the new era of the 20th century fashion.
Bibliography: Allan, Georgina O’Hara; Enciclopédia da Moda: De 1840 À Década de 90: Companhia das Letras, 2010.