Tag Archives: finished historical costume

History Of Lingerie – Victorian, Edwardian & 1920s

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!

History Of Lingerie - Victorian, Edwardian & 1920s

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.

Underwear might seem less important than the dress but the right underwear provides the foundation and right silhouette for the dress. Continue reading History Of Lingerie – Victorian, Edwardian & 1920s

Dressing The 1900s Woman – Edwardian Lingerie

Edwardian Lingerie - Dressing The Edwardian Lady

In the Edwardian era, a matronly figure was fashionable: The typical Gibson girl S-shaped, curvy figure with low mono-bosom bust and ample hips.

The right lingerie ‘improves the fit and set of skirt and gown in wonderful degree’ (W. B. Erect Form Corsets, 1902).

The Edwardian era lasted from 1901 to 1910 and was an era of luxury with expensive fabrics and lavish lace trimmings. Even if lingerie was almost never seen Continue reading Dressing The 1900s Woman – Edwardian Lingerie

Edwardian Sports Or Ribbon Corset

Edwardian Sports Or Ribbon Corset

Not all women in the Edwardian era wore heavily boned corsets. Some preferred to wear lightly boned corsets, usually called sports or athletic corsets:

The Edwardian sports corset doesn’t ‘interfere in the many free movements of any of the outdoor games […] and every one will be quick to appreciate the advantages of the newest try in the favor of athletics, comfort and trimness.’ (San Francisco Call, 1903) Continue reading Edwardian Sports Or Ribbon Corset

Dressing The 1920s Woman – 1920s Lingerie

Dressing The 1920s Woman 1920s Lingerie

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

1920s Cotton Knit Envelope Chemise

1920s Cotton Knit Envelope Chemise

Not all underwear in the 1920s was made of woven silk and cotton fabric. 1920s everyday underwear was also made of knit fabric. Knit lingerie in the 1920s often came in white and pastel colors and was made of silk, rayon and cotton knit fabric. For my knit envelope chemise, however, I refashioned an old bedsheet!

Cotton knit ‘Union Suits cling with a smooth perfection that will delight you.’ (Montgomery Wards Catalog, 1926)

Continue reading 1920s Cotton Knit Envelope Chemise

Edwardian Combination

Edwardian women often wore combination underwear instead of a separate chemise and drawers to reduce the bulk at the waist.

Edwardian Combination

‘Combinations combine the slip bodice and drawers type, and are certainly more economical than two separate garments.’ (Educational Needlecraft, 1911)

Edwardian combinations combined the chemise (or corset cover) and drawers in one, and were worn under the corset. Continue reading Edwardian Combination