The invention of the steel cage crinoline changed the underwear of Victorian women. Since 1856, steel crinolines were sold. The cage crinoline soon replaced the many petticoats which were formerly necessary for the fashionable bell-shaped skirt silhouette. Now just one or two petticoats were needed apart from the crinoline. A crinoline is lighter, but more difficult to wear and sometimes it’s even dangerous.
Dressing The 1860s Lady
Put on the same underwear as in 1850s: chemise, open drawers, corset, corset cover, day cap, stockings and shoes.
Now put on the crinoline. Sometimes a modesty petticoat’ was worn under the crinoline for modesty and warmth.
At least one petticoat was worn over the crinoline to conceal the hoops of the crinoline. In movies and reproduction dresses it’s easy to see when the crinoline is worn without an over-petticoat. 😉
I’m wearing my ruffled petticoat over the crinoline, but a plain petticoat would also do.
Now it’s time to tie your pockets round your waist.
If your dress has pagoda sleeves, put on engageantes (false undersleeves). And now you’re ready to put on your dress.
38 thoughts on “1860s Underwear – Dressing The Victorian Lady”
This is so interesting, and I love your ruffled crinoline 🙂
Thank you so much! 😀
I love seeing how women used to dress, it looks a little uncomfortable though! #BloggerClubUK
Thank you! It isn’t uncomfortable to wear! 😉
Wow! Looks like the women of the 1860’s had a lot of work to get dressed! Interesting post. I’m visiting from the ‘Welcome Wednesday’ link-up.
Thanks for stopping by, Cathy! 🙂
Can you imagine doing housework in the get up? I always wondered what it would be like then I got married and had a dress that laces up in the back. However wonderful my day was by the end the dress was painful! #bloggerclubUK
I’ve already worn it while making hay with a scythe! 😉 And the correct underwear (especially the chemise and corset) prevents the lacing and heavy skirts from cutting into the flesh. 😉
There was so much to do and wear – it must be so uncomfortable. Especially on hot days. I don’t know how they did it!
No, it isn’t uncomfortable – even on hot summer days! 😉 Victorians wore linen shifts in summer (linen is cooling), and hoop skirts are cooler than petticoats.
Such an interesting style. I wonder how people came up with this stuff? Could ladies even sit down with those steel crinolines? In a way, it would be kind of lovely if ladies these days wore such elegant dresses all the time. Perhaps it would give us a greater sense of dignity and intention in our daily lives. Perhaps… 🙂
Thanks, Jessica! 🙂 Jennifer of Historical Sewing shows in a video how to sit down in a hoop skirt (crinoline).
Wow, that’s a lot to put on. Fascinating post.
That’s a lot of clothing… Imagine all those layers in summer! :/
I wore all those layers in summer and it wasn’t too hot! 😉
I love period dramas, and it’s fascinating to see how the beautiful clothing gets put together. Thanks! #anbloggerslinkup
Thanks, Elaine! 🙂
I can imagine how much of a pain that would be to dress up in such attire. I also see why there were so many to help dress that special one on special days
It isn’t uncomfortable and I usually dress myself – a lady’s maid isn’t necessary! 😉
I love the ruffle petticoat. I often thought that the petticoats they wore back then were sometimes prettier than the dress itself but I guess it’s all about taste. There are also so many beautiful dresses they wore back then:) #DreamTeam
Thanks, Michelle! 🙂 Victorian underwear is often quite plain while Edwardian underwear is lavishly trimmed with lace and embroidery.
This took me right back to the day I wore a bridesmaid dress with a crinoline type of petticoat. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but sitting in it was a bit blush inducing. A really interesting read and I LOVE the photos… so pretty! Thanks for joining us for the #DreamTeam
Thank you so much, Annette! 😀 And sitting down in a crinoline is really easy: You have to grab the hoops of the crinoline and then sit down. Then it isn’t blush inducing! 😉
Just told my husband to check out your site–he’s a reenactor and I think he’ll love your page! This is a great post!
Very interesting to see the history of garments. Love seeing the petticoat, but couldn’t imagine dressing, it would take awhile!
thanks for linking!
Thanks for stopping by, Jessica!
It is interesting to see the fashions from other times and to hear from someone who has tried them what it is like to wear them.
I love learning about the styles and dresses on your blog. I would have been too exhausted to move after putting on all of these pieces of clothing, lol. Thanks for sharing on Sunday’s Best.
Thank you so much, Rhonda! 🙂
I just love your photos and historical info that you share–so interesting. Thanks for sharing at Party in Your PJs!
Your ruffled petticoat fascinates me. I do quite a bit of volunteering at an open-air historical museum and have recently begun attempting to make my own historically accurate garments. Might I ask where you got the pattern for your petticoat from? Or, if you made it without one, would you have any tips I might be able to follow in making my own? I have found internet searches on ruffled petticoats unsatisfactory in comparison to the effects yours achieves. Thank you very much! I’m looking forward to your reply.
Thanks so much, Leigh! 😀 Here are more pictures of my ruffled petticoat. I made the petticoat without a pattern: It’s just a large rectangle with long gathered strips for the ruffles. If you want to attach the skirt to the waistband by hand, here’s my tutorial for Victorian cartridge pleats. I also made a handsewn 1850s day dress with a ruffled skirt. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.
Thank you so much for the information, Lina! I think I have a pretty good idea of what I’ll do for constructing mine now. Again, thank you. I’m really excited to start now.