Fashion has always decreed that certain parts shall be emphasized and exaggerated (or minimized) far beyond the possibilities of nature and gravity. From at least the 15th century, with only a few notable exceptions, most decades have had some sort of volume booster to some part of women’s skirts. Usually the sides and or the back. What we commonly know as a bustle had many shapes and forms, from all wire to all ruffle, with names changing as fast as fashion itself. One year’s Dress Improver was the next year’s Tornure, as “bustle” had by then become an unseemly word. We, however, think they are all wonderful, and hope to bring you an increasing variety of options. While these are meant for wear as outer-garments, they will certainly give a degree of lift to over-skirts. Do have a conversation with us if you need to ensure a particular level of support for your ensemble.
Currently you may choose from three styles. The “lobster tail”, which was known in its own time as simply “muslin bustle with removable wires” has boning half-hoops to hold the shape. The width and fullness adjusts as you tie the inner ties. It collapses amazingly small when not in use. We – yes, even we – claim this to be a “one size fits all” accessory. The same size of bustle is be shown here on a size 10 mannekin and a size 24 model. The look you get depends on your size, shape, the adjustment of the inner ties, and how high or low you wear it. Whatever you do, you will certainly have plenty of “junque in the trunque”!
The “Tornure” is named from the French, (as all fashionable things seem to have been, at once point or another) since ‘Bustle” had been decreed to be an indelicate word. (Compare that to the 18th century, when False Rumps, Cork Rumps, and Bum Rolls were some of the terms for adding bulk and curve to the look of the hips and the behind!) Tornures are known by their rows and rows of ruffles.
We offer a full length version, as well as a “demi-Tornure”, known affectionately in private as “Ruffle Butts”. Look at all those little pleats! Our standard choices are black, brown, red and purple satin, edged with any
of our multitude of ribbon colours. The standard ribbon ties will accommodate a 50” waist. On smaller bodies, you can double wrap and have a bountiful bow in the back.
And did we mention you can layer these pieces, Ruffles over Boned Bustle, and even add an over-train? Or wear the ruffles to the front, or as a cape? Or find any number of other ways to express your inner self! We’d love to see your style! Specialty, coordinated, and mixed fabrics, as shown at the top, are one of our custom options.