19th century female attire

19th Century Female Attire is the backbone to the clothing we currently wear. Clothing is always evolving and shifting, there are so many variations of clothes. The clothing that we are wearing today has in some way been drafted off of something worn 200 years ago. In the 19th Century females wore underpinnings and all kinds of dress wear. They wore day dresses, which were intended for work, they wore evening gowns and ball gowns
. There are many variations of these gowns in the 1800s.
Today in Modern America women wear things under their clothes, known as underwear. They wear things like a slip if they are wearing a dress they wear a bra and panties on an everyday occasion. There are three major parts to a complete collection of underpinnings. There is the Chemise, which is similar to the modern day slip. There is the Corset with is much like a bra. Last but not least there are the drawers; these are the older idea of what panties are today. Underpinnings are the start of modern day under wear; they are much more complicated and much more uncomfortable.
The modern day slip is used when a female wears a dress. The slip is put on over the bra but under the dress. This is a little different then what the 19th century version of a slip was used for. The chemise (]]slip]]) was put on under the corset (bra) and of course under the gown. The chemise is always worn by women in the 1800s. Females then never wore pants or t-shirts. It was improper for them the wear anything other than a very modest gown or day dress
. A chemise is hemmed just below the knee and is set with lace around the neckline. It is also lined with lace on the sleeves. The lace outlining is used to further decorate the outer dress. The chemise is comfortable and easy to move in. The chemise is very similar to the modern day slip and has not changed much.
19th century drawers are what modern day panties were drafted on. The purpose has changed quite a bit over the last two hundred years. Modern day panties today are for show. They are skimpy and are very tight fitting. The drawers or “panties” of the 1800s were much different. Drawers were cut and hemmed just below the knee, just like the chemise. They were worn at the waist and tied off either under or over the chemise. These had an open crotch because undressing for women to go to the restroom was very difficult so the hole was incorporated to make it an easier experience. These are known to have lace on the bottom trimmings; however it is a rare because women would tie the leggings of the drawers closed. Drawers are comfortable but awkward and take a while to get used to. Drawers have changed a lot over time.
The corset was used to “hold women together.” People thought that females were so fragile that they needed assistance staying together. Corsets were also used to give women the hour glass look, tuck their tummies in and give them more bust, much like how bras are used today. The corset is lined with steal or wale bones in order to keep the woman up right and keep their bodies in place. This made it very difficult to move around or sit down. Women who wore the corset could not breathe heavily or eat large portions. Rich women of this time period often had a pickaninny. A pickaninny would take the blame for any escaped gas that was let loose from the rich woman in a public place. The corsets often created a problem for females and there gas control. The corsets squeezed the body so tight that it was hard to do much of anything. The tightness of the corset ruined organs and gave women major medical problems if worn too tight. Corsets are very difficult to make and equally difficult to get on and off. Corsets are what gave the idea for the modern day bra. There are some differences in that the bra is much smaller in size and are showier.
Dress Wear
The dress wear in the 1800s was made out of wool, muslin or linen. The dress was worn long and was molded to the female’s body. These dresses were custom made to fit an individual. In this time period someone would be hired to make the dress or the individual could make the gown themselves, depending on how much time they had.
The style of dress changed from decade to decade. In the early 19th century females wore long sleeves on their bodice and also buttoned the bodice in the back instead of the front. Later in the century the female dress was made to be buttoned in the front and the sleeves were shortened and were made so that the female could move around in an easier fashion.
The style of clothing was at times influenced by the political happenings and social exposure.
< Prev   Next >