By Thimbles and Acorns
The distinct style of ladies’ dress in the 18th century was achieved by a complex succession of layers that began with the underpinnings. Underpinnings were what we might refer to as underwear today, and they provided the basic structure and dimension that made 18th century fashion unique. The name is somewhat deceptive, however, as underpinnings weren’t always out of sight – they were simply the first layers of a complete outfit. In fact, for a working class girl, the underpinnings may have been all that she wore from day to day.