In the Cyclopean account of the wedding of "Miss Fir Conifer of Pine Valley," the bride's dress is said to be composed of "green mercerised silk, moulded on an underslip of gloaming grey, sashed with a yoke of broad emerald and finished with a triple flounce of darkerhued fringe, the scheme being relieved by bretelles and hip insertions of acorn bronze." Bretelles, in late 19th century fashion, were decorative straps that passed over the shoulders from a belt at the front of a woman's dress to the belt in back, making two large V shapes. Joyce's "hip insertions" may be the hip bustles that Victorian women wore under dresses to affect shape and drape, but the mention of their color suggests an ornamentation on top of the dress.

John Hunt 2021

Illustration of bretelles on p. 268 of the 22 August 1869 issue of La Mode Illustrée, Journal de la Famille (Paris). Source:

Scott brand hip pads sold ca. 1900. Source: