Afternoon dress and Two-piece dress
/ Gigot Sleeve
In the late 1930s, curator James Laver, of the Victoria & Albert Museum, crafted a theory that he would later call the "gap of appreciation." He postulated that a fashion becomes ridiculous 20 years after its debut but quaint by 50, charming at 70, and after 150 years, beautiful.

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Leg-of-mutton, or gigot, sleeves are one of the most distinctive elements of 1830s fashion. They returned to prominence during the 1890s, growing to their fullest proportions around the middle of the decade.

Afternoon dress
Green silk satin
Circa 1830, England
The Museum at FIT, P88.28.1
Museum purchase

Two-piece dress
Brown brocaded silk satin, jet, sequins
Circa 1896, USA
The Museum at FIT, P88.25.2
Museum purchase