Posted by Elaine A. on July 23, 1997 at 21:43:16:
In reply to Re: Corset, chemise--no drawers! posted by Ann on July 23, 1997 at 00:53:45
From my beloved Regency source, THE REGENCY COMPANION...
"The nineteenth century opened with English women following their French sisters in discarding petticoats and corsets. Young ladies were known to wear their thin muslin dresses with nothing under them but flesh colored tights.
As one social observer recounted in June, 1812, a fashionable young lady addressed her partner at the Lord Mayor's Ball with an admonition to be very careful and not tread on her dress, because underneath was nothing to save her modesty.
The extreme of this fashion was the bare female form under a 'dampened' clinging muslin dress. In reality underwear usually consisted of a single petticoat, which might be colored under the white dress. Zonas, a Grecian brassiere consisting of bands covered with silk, could also be found under these thin garments. The damsel wrapped the bands around her upper trunk, and it offered some support for her lower breasts.
'Bust improvers' were a major innovation of the period. Bosoms were the main focus of the figure. It was necessary to improve on nature's inadequacies for some ladies. These 'bosom friends' were made of stuffed cotton or wax."
This is running long--sorry! The continued post contains information about drawers, bustles, and corsets.
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