1860-03 ~ Victorian Unmentionables


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Victorian Unmentionables

INTERMEDIATE

By Thimbles and Acorns

Available in one size designed to fit American Girl® and Other Similarly Sized Dolls.

Until the early 19th century, a corset and linen chemise were all the underwear a woman thought necessary, or even desirable. It wasn’t until the turn of the century, when the use of very light fabrics became popular, that women even considered wearing underpants as a necessity for added warmth. When the crinoline was introduced toward the middle of the century, its tendency to fly up at inopportune moments created yet another need for underpants. 
Queen Victoria’s standards of propriety were so stringent that she soon ensured that the fashion for underpants would become a staple article of clothing in every woman’s wardrobe. 

Pantalettes, an adaptation of men’s pantaloons, were the earliest style of underpants used by women. They were also called drawers because they were composed of two separate leg sections that were tied on at the waist with drawstrings. Early on, these were considered a fashion accessory and were decorated with frills and lace and allowed to hang several inches below the hemline. By the middle of the century, drawers were connected at the waist to form a one piece garment, though the crotch was still left open. The loose style of the garment, however, accommodated the opening and afforded a degree of modesty. 
By the 1870’s, drawers started to become an “unmentionable” part of a woman’s wardrobe. It was no longer appropriate to show off ones drawers so they were shortened to just below the knee. Despite this, many women still took pains to embellish their drawers with frills and lace much to the chagrin of those who thought it a waste of materials. 

 

This pattern is available exclusively through Pixie Faire.  To purchase, click here or on the picture.

 

To learn more about the history behind this ensemble, click here.

Free printable mini pamphlets!

The Cage Crinoline

19th Century Underwear

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