If you’ve ever wondered what underthings Victorian ladies and 1920s flappers wore, you’ve come to the right place. Find out more about the history of lingerie!
What kind of underwear did Edwardian ladies, Victorian working class women and 1920s flappers wear? Although the terms didn’t change much between the Victorian era and the 1920s, the look of the lingerie changed dramatically. While Victorian women wore a chemise next to their skin, 1920s women wore a teddy instead. But even if the terms are different, the function was the same: to protect the body from the corset and vice versa. Yes, contrary to popular belief, 1920s women still wore corsets!
In general, Victorian women wore the most underwear, especially before the invention of the crinoline – while 1920s flapper preferred to wear only the bare necessities. Victorian women wore a chemise, drawers, corset, corset cover, and many petticoats. 1920s women, on the contrary, often wore only two pieces of lingerie: a teddy and slip.
The Edwardian era covers the short reign of King Edward VII and lasted from 1901 to 1910. It was an era of luxury with elegant dresses, expensive fabrics and trimmings. Even lingerie was lavishly trimmed with rows of lace for the first time in history! Moreover, Edwardian fashion was characterized by the new S-bend corset, the pouter pigeon shape, high collars and hats. While high collars and hats remained popular throughout the era, the pouter pigeon shape decreased over the years. Continue reading 1900-1909 Edwardian Fashion Timeline→
Compared to 1900s lingerie, 1920s lingerie looks completely different but women still wore the same kind of underwear: chemises, drawers, camisoles, bras, girdles and corsets. Yes, most women in the 1920s still wore corsets! However, Edwardian lingerie emphasized a curvy silhouette, whereas 1920s underwear created a slender, boyish look. Continue reading Dressing The 1920s Woman – 1920s Lingerie→
In the Victorian era, hay was made by hand with a scythe. But even today, a scythe is often used to cut grass and make hay. I love making hay with a scythe – it’s the best full body workout! Every summer, I make hay for our rabbits by hand with a scythe. Besides haymaking, the scythe is also perfect to cut grass on a hill in our garden that is too steep for a lawn mower.
‘Now, whilst the mowers are whetting their scythes, and the fragrant smell of the hay fills the summer air, let us sit on the haycock, and glance at the flowers around us.’ (English Wild Flowers, 1868)
Victorians and Edwardians were fond of traveling. ‘The Grand Tour’ – a travel through European countries – was a popular travel to finish the education of wealthy young adults. Italy and Greece were the most popular travel destinations, and some even traveled to the Far East! The advent of the railroad and steamships in the Victorian era made traveling much easier. In the Victorian era, there were already unchaperoned traveling women, such as Ida Pfeiffer – the travel blogger of the Victorian era! 😉 Continue reading Victorian & Edwardian Travel Accessories→
The ‘door was thrown open leading into the great exhibition-room. Here was a magnificent Christmas-tree hung all over with colored wax tapers; here were tables covered with white cloths, and glittering from head to foot with the most bewitching doll-babies, work-boxes, card-cases, silk dresses, rattles, penny whistles, shawls, sashes, drawing-implements, and I don’t know what all, for big and little, with a name written upon each, and ever so many funny inscriptions to make it all the more merry.’ (An American Family In Germany, 1866, p. 183) Continue reading The Victorian Christmas Tree→
‘Christmas is coming. […] Such a capering and hiding; stitching, knitting, clipping, cutting, and pasting; red paper and blue paper; spangles of gold and silver; purses, cuffs, lamp-rugs, slippers, and neck-ties; gewgaws, and filigree, and gimcracks; green trees, hung all over with colored balls, little angels, and candy horsemen; wax tapers and bits of looking-glass; such surprises hid in fancy boxes and bags, on the tops of the wardrobes, behind the bureaus, and under the sofas, for Tom, Dick, and Harry; mysterious whisperings, secret conferences, knowing looks, nods, and winks, and sudden hidings away of articles in progress of manufacture but not yet to be seen Continue reading Victorian & Edwardian Christmas Gifts – Part 1→