In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Historic Clothing Collection

1830-1850

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From Eastport, and connected to the Leavitt family, a wadded mulberry colored plain taffeta silk coat-dress with very full gigot sleeves presents a good example of day fashions straddling the 1830 to 1835 period. The natural waist level belt encircling the coat and long pelerine (cape) tails emphasizes the skirt's spreading hemline. A selection of three dresses serve to illustrate the gigot sleeveā€™s rise and fall from outsize balloon puffs at the shoulder, followed by mid-arm puffs, and final deflation into a gathered puffed lower arm detail. The lower arm puff lingered for a time, competing with the new 1840s straight sleeve. The same three gowns also illustrate 1830s bodice pleat and gather detailing, and the fuller skirts, that in combination with the return of the natural waist placed new emphasis on small waists and made lacing corsets important.

Gigot sleeve dress, ca. 1830
Gigot sleeve dress, ca. 1830Maine Historical Society
Gigot sleeve dress, ca. 1834
Gigot sleeve dress, ca. 1834Maine Historical Society
Gigot sleeve dress, ca. 1838
Gigot sleeve dress, ca. 1838Maine Historical Society