Mutton Dressed as Lamb – Sleeves of the 1830’s and 1890’s – Part One

The big mutton sleeves first began to take shape in the late 1820’s with a thin gauze fabric overlaping the shorter sleeve, meeting at the wrist, creating a large mutton shape.

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Then at the beginning of the 1830’s the undersleeve began to expand rapidly, enlarging the overall size. Dresses meanwhile still had the short puffy sleeves of 1820’s, just much larger at the start of the decade.

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The large sleeves took over the 1830’s, becoming the infamous mutton sleeves that were also so recognisable of the 1890’s.

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A top layer of fabric othen overlapped the large sleeves, extending the length of the already deep shoulders.

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As the decade came to a close the sleeves began to take on a different, more structured shape and were scaled down in size and focused more on a strict structure that represented strongly womens place in society at the time.

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