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Woman’s wardrobe essentials in history

October 23, 2009

In modern times, what are classed as essential items for a woman?

 A pair of designer jeans?

A bikini?

Red lacy underwear?

In history, essential items were a little more decorous but seen as essential, nevertheless.

Would you like to be wearing these? 

Most sound very, very, uncomfortable!!!

Betsy – Detachable collar of lace ruffles worn with different dresses. Fashionable way to keep neck warm.

Corset – French term for ‘stays,’ Body-shaping garments to hold in the waist and lift the bosom and tightened by laces in the back. Stays were canvas, often faced with silk, reinforced inside with whalebone. Regency stays were not as uncomfortable as the later Victorian corsets.

Chemise – Also called a ‘shift,’ this undergarment is essentially a slip. This sleeveless, mid-calf length garment of white cotton or muslin was worn next to the skin under the stays.

Fichu – A piece of lace, muslin, or other cloth worn about the neck and cleavage to preserve a lady’s modesty. From French word meaning neckerchief

Pelisse – Light overcoat, with or without sleeves, open or buttoning down the front, hanging to shin or floor level. Made from anything from muslin to fur and often with ornate trimmings.

Spencer – Short, bodice hugging, usually long sleeved, outer jacket. For warmth and for fashion.

Think I’ll stick to T-shirts and jeans thanks very much!!!


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