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 Underwear in 18th century 
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Prince/Princesse
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:42 am
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Post Re: Underwear in 18th century
Lilly wrote:
A French Proverb : The more a ram smells, the more the goat loves him.

Today's woman cannot imagine this! But - this does explain the lack of any mention of what women did during menstruation - it looks like most did nothing! This type of odor, along with body odor and mouth odor does not make a very pretty picture for 18th century women or men! There are contempoary writings of how bad people smelled - of a husband being sickened by the odor of his wife, etc., etc. People's homes are said to have really smelled foul from chamberpots and of course Versailles itself was urinated in where ever someone found the need. YUK, is right!


That's true about women. For instance this is the reason why Madame de Pompadour's intimate problems were known by everybody in the court. At some point during a dinner Maurepas noticed them and then came up with a nasty poem about "white flowers"...

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Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:09 am
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Royalty
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Post Re: Underwear in 18th century
Thinking about this has really shattered my image of the 18th century. It is so easy, with all it's finery, to romanticize the times. I'm wondering now if the reason people's teeth are never showing in portraits is because they were rotted. Imagine seeing someone who's great looking - rotten smelling teeth, bugs in their hair (lice) - this would include facial hair and pubic hair (people would have been scratching!), and smelling so bad. It makes you take a second thought as to maybe WHY some people didn't like each other and some of the pettyness took place.
Quite a nasty little poem Maurepas wrote about Madame Pompadour - I think he got in trouble for that one!!


Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:57 pm
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Post Re: Underwear in 18th century
Sometimes it proves difficult to find accurate sources and create the right image about life and people in the 18th century. It is true that 17th century and great deal of the 18th century were the worst periods in history in terms of hygiene. I read that although it is not widely known, in the middle ages, especially early middle ages, people had quite good knowledge and practice of hygiene, especially because public Roman baths still existed and the Roman habits still didn't get lost. I think that people in the 18th century had at least some common sense, at least to try to deal with problems such as lice, and there are some paintings in which we can see a person trying to clean lice of someone's hair. All in all, it was bad, but it is hard to find accurate sources and see how bad it really was and what they did to make it better. It is unimaginable for us today but probably they got used to some of the issues and stopped to pay too much attention.

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Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:53 am
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Peasant
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Post Re: Underwear in 18th century
Underwear design of the 18th century very romantic, soft. Exquisite tailoring make underwear more fit body's natural curves.


Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:17 am
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Post Re: Underwear in 18th century
onelin wrote:
Underwear design of the 18th century very romantic, soft. Exquisite tailoring make underwear more fit body's natural curves.


I think it depends on the underwear. If it's a corset, possibly, but if it's a chemise then maybe not.

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Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:06 am
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