Keep your partridge and a pear tree in there
I’m reading one of my favorite authors this week – Jennifer Ashley and her 4th book in the Highlanders series. I just love her writing. Outstanding.
But I gush.
This series takes place in Victorian England (1837-1901). Whenever I think of Victorian Engand I immediately think of the fashion. And the stern look of that queen. Man, she looked like a corker didn’t she? Fun at parties, I’ll bet. The first person I’d pick for my team in a breathless game of Victorian charades. Or beer pong. She’d totally rock at beer pong.
But back to the fashion. Women’s Victorian fashion was totally dominated by bustles. As I’m reading this book, every once in a while a bustle is mentioned and I’m drawn to wonder.
Why the bustle? Why?
So I Googled it.
The bustle seems to actually have logically evolved from the extreme hoops that came before it. First, there were giant bell skirts which morphed into elliptical hoops and then those crazy fashionistas just piled all the fabric on their rear ends. There seems to be some speculation that the fashion was driven by the desire to have more ornamented skirts thus more yardage. Also, that the bustle was much more practical than a hoop skirt.
I agree that walking around in a giant hoop would be a nightmare. How the hell those women got through doorways and then carriages, I have no idea. But really, I don’t see that sitting in one of those extreme bustles would be that comfortable either. There was a full on cage involved with a bustle.
What did they do? Tuck the chair underneath the bustle? Shit, the size of some of those bustles they could have had a chair hidden under there the whole time and who would have known?
I shudder to think about using the ladies retiring room. That’s the polite term for the potty in historical speak.
Still, I can’t help but wonder what the Victorian ladies were thinking by loading up their rear ends so they looked enormous. I can’t imagine that ladies were that much different then than they are today. No woman wants her ass to be huge.
I guarantee a man was involved with this ridiculousness.
So now it occurs to me that a bustle could be quite useful. Think of the things you could hide under there. A panda bear for certain. A person could become quite a smuggler with that kind of room. What else could you do with a bustle? Turn it into your own traveling wifi? **Gasp** Maybe an espresso maker? Now you’re talking?