Womens garments featured a tight bodice with a draped overskirt or polonaise. Tapes sewn underneath the skirt were used to pull and hold the fabric to the back to enhance rear fullness. A bustle made of a steel frame and crinoline was attached to the waist to support the weight of the fabric.
Dresses were abundantly trimmed in fringe, beads, fur and ribbon. One-piece tea gowns were originally worn as dressing gowns and featured an unboned bodice. Later, these more casual gowns were incorporated into daily fashion.
Since silk was sold by weight rather than length, manufacturers would weight raw silk with chemical salts. Thin, weighted silk was less expensive and was used for linings and cheaper garments. Chemicals salts weakened the silk causing it to deteriorate and shatter over time.