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18th Century undergarments
http://forum.marie-antoinette.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1392
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Author:  Ray [ Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:19 am ]
Post subject:  18th Century undergarments

To All,
Does anyone know if a European lady of the latter half of the 18th century would have worn a slip or pantaloons under her dress? Perhaps they would have worn something else that I am not familiar with? If you have any info on this subject, I would be very grateful if you would share it with us.

Sincerely,
Ray

Author:  dreamoutloud [ Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 18th Century undergarments

An lady in the later half of the 18th century would have worn a shift, stockings, stays, panniers (or whatever the dress support at the time was). Here is an image of complete underwear from 1778. There was nothing that covered the crotch in the way that our underwear today or drawers of the 19th century did.

During the 1790s, underwear underwent a major change to deal with the changing shape of fashion. Stays were abandoned. Some daring ladies went au naturel, others wore a thin linen bodice that was quite equivalent to a modern bra. Most women still wore a shift under their dresses, but some of the scandalous ladies of the Directoire did not. Stockings were still in, but the same scandalous ladies wore flesh-colored tights. There was still a bit of padding and support at the back during the mid 1790s to achieve the rounded shape of the round gown, but by 1800 that had disappeared to form the smooth empire silhouette.

Author:  Ray [ Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 18th Century undergarments

Dear dreamoutloud,
Thank you so much for the information and the link to that much needed picture! What exactly was a 'stay'? In my story so far, I just said that she had on a corset and a slip. Could this combination of terms be comparable to the picture? I am also worried about modern readers being able to relate to the terminology unless I am able to explain/describe it properly. Thank you SO much for helping! :)

Gratefully,
Ray

Author:  dreamoutloud [ Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 18th Century undergarments

Stays (always in plural) was the 18th century word for corset. You can say corset, though that is more 19th century terminology. It refers more specifically and conjures the image of the victorian hourglass corset, whereas (as you can see) 18th century stays were more.... ice cream cone shaped.

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