Gift of Mrs. James Sullivan, in memory of Mrs. Luman Reed, 1926 (26.250.1a,b)
The 1830s silhouette was created by a corseted, raised waistline; with a bell-shaped skirt revealing the lower ankle. The wide triangle atop this dress was imposed by the stays worn underneath, which had shoulder straps to hold the shoulders down and away from the neck. The wide sleeves had at first been affixed at the top of the arm and supported with sleeve extenders made of various materials. By the late 1830s, the gigot sleeve was collapsing at the sleeve cap. To maintain the triangular silhouette, a detachable pelerine, or capelet, sustained the broad shoulder line of the period. The waist, still not quite at its natural position, is made to appear small by the expanse of the dress above and below. The bell-shaped skirt is supported by petticoats and reveals the feet (which would soon be swallowed up by longer skirts for the remainder of the century).