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Natural Form & the Cuirass Bodice

Auguste Renoir, La Balancoire (The Swing), 1876 An overview of that very peculiar era of fashion known as the Natural Form, with its Cuirass Bodice, including a summarized look at the socio-economic climate of the era.

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Fashion 1876-1882

The London and Paris Ladies magazine of Fashion, November 1882Following our introduction to the Natural Form, it's time to choose the details of your outfit. There are many options depending on the year that's taken your fancy.

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Making a Balayeuse

icon free smYou can easily picture your spectacular new gown trailing behind you as you make a grand entrance... but what about the dirt?

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And The Layers Are... (1)

Nana, Edouard Manet, 1877Making sense of ladies' underwear 1876-82.

Walking you through all the different layers, from the skin out.

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And The Layers Are... (2)

Psyche by Berthe MorisotMaking sense of ladies' underwear 1876-82.

2: What to wear over the corset and under the dress, plus fabrics.

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Linen Chemise, 1879

Detail of shoulder, 1880 chemiseAn eye-opening combination of machine sewing and delicate hand stitching.

Bonus article from FR

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1876-8 Day Dress: Skirt

Back of day dressA wonderful example of fashionable Victorian day dress in America, composed of polonaise and trained skirt. Part 1: overview & skirt pattern.

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1876-8 Dress: Polonaise

1876-1878 Daydress detailA wonderful example of fashionable US Victorian day dress, composed of polonaise and trained skirt. Part 2 features the complete pattern.

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The Point Princess Dress - 1882

SquarepicLife often brings unexpected treasures. Kat studies an extant dress pattern from 1882 and looks at how this Natural Form Era gown fits a modern, uncorseted body.

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Natural Form Era Socks & Stockings by Marion McNealy

Edouard Manet, Woman fastening her stockings, 1878Far beyond plain black or white, catalogs of the era carried fancy knitted stockings of all kinds. Get ready to shop for the perfect stockings, thread your embroidery needle or grab your knitting needles! We're diving into the realm of stockings and socks with fashion reports, catalogs from 1882, stocking embroidery diagrams and  lots of knitting patterns for socks and stockings for all ages.

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Hats & Bonnets from Modern Hats

London and Paris ladies magazine of fashion, July 1881Straw was popular year-round for Natural Form headgear. Here's how to create three different shapes by altering modern sun hats.

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