I've been hunting around on Bibliotheque Des Arts for inspiration for a mid 1850s dress I've got some deep green/blue worsted wool stashed away for.
And I keep coming across bodices like that. Front point, but open across the front with no visible support. Is the chemisette/white bodice underneath structural? As in attached to the edges of the bodice? Or is it simply separate and the bodice held there by magic?
I've also thought about using some other fastenings across the front of that opening.
I know in the 1840s there were tabs holding the bodice together. Would it be appropriate to use black velvet tabs/stripes held across with black velvet buttons, up to about the bustline, with a single hook and eye securing the two edges at the bottom and a matching black belt? I'd bone the sides with spring steel.
The only problem with that would be how to fasten the tabs - a buttonhole through the tab? A hook and bar on the tab/dress?