Underwear

1883-1896

the bust bodice.  device to support the breasts introduced in 1889, worn above the corset.

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bust improvers.  1887, cup-shaped wire structures.

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the camisole. high and close fitting for day wear, and with a low V neck for evening; plain or trimmed with lace.

the nightgown.  frilling around the neck, with lace ruffles and jabot.  White silk.  1887 becoming pretty.

 

1897-1909
The spirit of costume, anticipating the Edwardian period, changed in character, and the new epoch began in 1897.  The influence of sport spreads taste for more comfortable clothes in daily life, and the top hat and frock coat were becoming a specialized uniform for particular occasions.   Feminine underclothes developed a degree of eroticism never previously attempted.  They invented a silhouette of fictitious curves, massive above, with rivulets of lacy embroidery trickling over the surface down to a whirlpool of froth.

The drawers and pants. similar materials to undervest. pants were ankle-length or mid-calf, drawers were either just below the knee or just above.

combination

the combinations.  vest and pants in one.

the pajamas.  replace the night shirt.

 

Women

A wish for dainty underwear is a desire for cleanliness.

the chemise. for day fine linen, batiste or lawn.  For evening of lawn or silk.

the combinations.  knicker and camisole combinations with lace, made of wool and silk and wool.

the corset.  the stays are straight and forward but leave the figure graceful and supple; whilst narrowing the back in a most surprising manner.  Chest expands. Gibson Girl silhouette.

1904

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the petticoat.  always flimsy; not more than two were worn, the top one, particularly when colored was referred to as an underskirt.

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the drawers.  nainsook knickers with frills of muslin embroidery; french drawers of mull muslin or washing silk, with flounce and three rows of insertion, threaded with baby ribbon, worn under lace or silk petticoat.

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the camisole.  corset covers – petticoat bodices, under clothing becomes thinner and thinner.

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bust improvers.  bust fashioned on Venus de Milo.  The Neena bust improver.

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the bust bodice.  worn above the corset

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the nightclothes.  flimsier materials and elaborately trimmed.

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the trousseaux. ladies undergarments.

 

1909-1918

Simplification in dress. Underclothes were permitting freer movement, growing inclination to reduce the layers which covered the body.  Slowly realized that in the active life of the modern world so much clothing was unnecessary and a relic of obsolete ideas.

Men

progressive increase in the variety of articles available.

the shirt.  long fronted white or printed shirt is now obsolete.

the business shirt stiff 10″ front, detachable cuffs, for day the white shirt was being steadily displaced by the soft-fronted, made of flannel in winter and of cambric in summer.  Pleated and tucked fronts.  Day tie, four-in-hand, or bow knot.

the vest.  long or short sleeves; made of unbleached cotton, white gauze or net for summer, and of meriono.

the drawers and pants.  unbleached cotton, calico, gauze and merino.

the combinations still being worn.

the nightclothes.  Longcloth shirts and pajama’s

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Women

the new silhouette, with a skirt of 1 1/2 yards round the hem, left little space for expansive underclothing.

the chemise.  square-cut with narrow shoulder straps.

the combination.  replaces the chemise and skirt-knickers by skin fitting combinations and silk pantalettes.

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the corset.  corsets whether back or front lace, boning was all important, the strain on the garment was terrific. 1912 clock-spring steel covered with hard rubber or celluloid was adopted and whalebone never recovered.

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corsets

the petticoat. Princess petticoat 1911.  1915 expands

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the Brassiere.  1916 a new undergarment which takes place of camisole.

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the chemi-knickers.  1917 new under slip, worn over the corset, helping to reduce the number of undergarments; a button and loop can be put at the lowest hem to catch the skirt together in divided skirt fashion.

Underwear1913

the knickers.  french with wide frilled legs. skirt knickers.

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the nightclothes. pre-war the nightdress.  Pajama suit has a growing interest.

 

1919-1939

new attitude of mind towards the function of clothing and underclothing.

“skin worship”  devotees tanned their bodies by sunlight, real or artificial, or by stains; women improve their faces with paints, lotions and skin foods containing hormones.  Focus on the face they cut off their hair.  glorification of youth.

Men

Prince of Wales, publicly condemned “the boiled shirt” Garish colors in dress was the new spirit.

the shirt.  for day wear.  oxford shirt with white collar and cuffs. the dress-shirt single stud, white pleated front.  the sports shirt, cotton or wool taffeta, turn collar.

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the combination. derived from America, one piece suit for underwear in place of a vest and pants.

the shorts and trunks.  made with lastex wasitbands, generally worn by 1930.

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the singlet.  jersey necks and quarter sleeves, low neck, sleeveless displaced in vest in 1930’s.

the pajamas.  light weight in a wide choice of materials.

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women

no period in history has presented a great variety of underclothes and though so much reduced in bulk, they developed a new importance and complexity.  Many materials employed, artificial silk in various forms dominated, and was available for all classes.

the garments were divided into two headings: single and composite.

Single –

the chemise.  “the vest”

the undervest. wool was unfashionable garment

the combinations.  close fitting woven garment, becoming almost tights during the 1930’s

vest combinations

the camisole. disappeared as a separate  garment towards end of 1920s

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the brassiere.  becoming the bra in 1937.  Developed from the bust bodice and in the 1920’s becomes very tight, compressing the breasts to produce the straight, shapeless form then fashionable.

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the corset.  wrap-around rubber corsets to compress the buttocks.  corsets to produce a slenderizing effect on the figure.

 

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the belt.  substitute for the corset, varied from abdominal supports to light suspender belts with or without bones.

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the knickers. french drawers with open legs, and closed knickers.  1924 shortened into panties.

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the petticoat.  becomes the princess slip.

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The Composite.

the corselette.

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the cami-knickers .

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the cami-bockers.

 

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the nightclothes.  reflect the spirit of the dress of the period.

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1940’s

Bra

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1950’s

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1960’s

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1960s-lingerie

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1970’s

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1980’s

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1990’s

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some fun facts about the Bra:

history of the bra

who invented the bra

 

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