A Silhouette is the recognizable shape of fashion…

.. as it changes.  It is not exactly a black line drawing as we show here because it is in 3 dimensions (heighth, width, length) with subtle variables – but historians can place them through the most distinguishing characteristics.

Regard yesterday’s post with drawings of women, and compare to today’s picture silhouettes.  You note that just in 2 short decades, in the middle of the Victorian fashion era, the silhouette was very easy to distinguish and changed quite drastically.

This period from the early 1870’s to the late 1880’s is probably the most confusing in American history because fashion went from the huge crinolines to the bustle to nothing at all to an even bigger bustle before it suddenly disappeared in a “puff of smoke”.