I Hope This Makes My Butt Look Too Big
Anyway, I told him what they were and how to search for them. He was amazed. I was not, as I’ve been pictures of them most of my life. But not in real life.
Wisconsinhistory(dot)org has some examples, including a sketch showing the construction of a frame for supporting heavy winter clothing. Honest, it looks like a section of bridge. You go through the hole in the top and the supporting mechanism attaches, and is pressed against, your back.
All in the name of fashion. This, of course, was the high-fashion model. There were others, depending on where you were going that day or evening. Elaborate or plain, way out or closer to the body, quite decorative or somewhat plain: take your choice. You are the woman of fashion and can dress as you wish.
The bustle went out of fashion about 120 years ago and I really don’t think it’s coming back. But, you know that someone will try to resurrect this retro style and we will see the young, and old, ladies getting fixed up for the evening saying, “Honey, I hope this makes my butt look too big.”