Fashion in America the late nineteenth century was starting to mimic the Victorian era in England. It was becoming more common for wealthy women to wear corsets and dresses with puffy shoulders. Women were more interested in their appearance.
This has always been one of my favorite (of millions of) fashion plates. Making the dress on the right was one of my goals. But that was when I had the figure to wear it. Natural Form was always my favorite era. Now I think I have to switch to late bustle! LOL. (You'd have to see my butt to get the laugh).