Often when I talk to people who are not that familiar with historical costuming, I get askt about what I’m wearing underneath my dresses.
All you people who already do historic costuming know that it’s the undergarmnent that makes the outfit (and takes the longest time while dressing), and without the right support and stuffing you would get nowhere.
Most people know about corsets, but not that much more. So I tought it would be fun to “strip the lady down” and reveal what hides beneath.
The undergarmnent changes with fashion and will be constructed and look differently depending on time period, wealth of the wearer, and personal taste. But the overal layering will remain somewhat the same through the 16th to early 20th century. Only changing in name, siluett and constuction.
This time I will do the 1750s noble woman.
And then the skirt, revealing the petticoat. You would wear as many petticoats as neccesary for warmt, and to hide the sometimes sharp shapes from the undergarmnents. Sometimes as many as 5 petticoats on top of each other.
The shift/chemise is being worn closest to the body, is made in an light, washable fabric and has the task of collecting the dirt and swet from the body.
Then there is the costet – made to shape the torso into the desired fashionable form, and to provide a solid form to drape the clothes on.
The pocket hoops or “pocher” are smal and cresent shaped and ties at the waist. They are what gives the skirt it distinct form. The hoops comes in many different shapes and sizes and often makes the hips 3 times the waist measurments.
The stockings are above knee lenght and secured with ribbon.
This is just one of the many ways to dress as a 18th century lady, but I hope it give you a better understanding of the amount of items needed in the costuming closet, exept for the pretty gown…