18th century, publications, research, underpinnings

New Research Article Posted: 18th c. rumps

About a year and a half ago, I wrote an article for Foundations Revealed: The Corset Maker’s Companion on late 18th century skirt supports (called “bums,” “rumps,”  and “culs” in the period).  I’ve been interested in this topic for a long time, as the shapes I had seen and used didn’t seem to create the same effect that I saw in paintings and fashion plates.

I did a lot of research and pulled together as many sources as I could find, and then set about making test mock-ups to see how the different shapes would work.  I ended up making a small version of each shape as well as a large, and then photographed each on an appropriately-sized model.

It’s long past the Foundations Revealed embargo period, but it’s still taken me forever to cross-post this article to my own site, as it’s so image intensive — but I finally have finished it.  So, if you’re interested in what they might have worn under their skirts in the 1770s-1790s, please check out the article.

And since you might be wondering… I have ditched my “bumroll” shape (shape #2 in the article) in favor of #3 for 1770s-85, and and #7 for 1785-95.  You can see more examples of me wearing these two shapes under my 1780 polonaise (shape #3), 1775 Maja costume (shape #3), and 1787ish roundgown (shape #7).

Happy rump-ing!

The Bum Shop, 1785. Lewis Walpole Library.

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  • Reply Claire February 1, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Thank you for such a well-researched and inspiring article! I’ve been thinking about how to resolve this exact problem (as I’m sure a lot of costumers are), and your piece is the most comprehensive summary I’ve seen of what’s out there. Well done!

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