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Please Help ID Mens Shirt (Victorian?)

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by vintagediva555, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. sewingmachinegirl

    sewingmachinegirl VFG Member

    Like this idea Melanie- but I am not sure there's enough fabric length for that flap to fold back up towards the front waist if that's what you are thinking?.
    But if it just hangs at the back like a modesty flap- that would be pretty weird too wouldn't it. :puzzled:
    This one is driving me nuts- I want to solve it!!
  2. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    I'm looking at the V&A & National trust online collections for a similar example, the former doesn't have much photographed but comes with good dates and details, the latter has shedloads but rarely more than a first picture :/
  3. Here are some additional photos of the "mystery" drawers. It does look like some kind of flap. I put it in front since the legs seemed to fit best this way.
    There is no area that could have a drawstring going through.
    Also if the flap was pulled up to the other side, it wouldn't reach the waist.

    drawers 02.jpg drawers 05.jpg
    drawers 01.jpg
    drawers 04.jpg
    drawers 03.jpg
  4. Marvellous!

    The opening goes to the front, the big, loose bit is over the bottom. I'm sure that seeing them like this will help a great deal with dating - they're very voluminous which suggests they were worn under a large skirt so I'm thinking crinoline (1850s) and that tallies with all hand sewn. I have seen hand sewn undergarments up until about 1900 but I think these are earlier.

    I'll go with 1830s-50s but hopefully those with more knowledge of Victorian/early 19th century underwear can help. They could well be a fine linen, as they were boiled and needed to be robust.
  5. Thank you so much for clearing this up!
    It's great to see other vintage fashion enthusiasts appreciate these items as much as I do!
  6. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member

    I still do not understand what that huge flap thing is.....what is there for? Nicole? Anybody?
  7. It's for lifting up so you can umm, go to the toilet? But it hangs down and offers modesty the rest of the time. I think it would make more sense if they were seen the right way around. A lot of these drawers were very big and loose, they must have been quite comfortable to wear, but irksome to get all the fabric out of the way when you needed to.
  8. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member

    I still don't get it. Why do you need all that extra fabric hanging down, how does that make it easier to go to the toilet? It would seem easier to not have all that getting in the way. And they look to be split in the back, so why all the extra volume in front? With the small waistband, the person would not need all the extra fabric, even for modesty. Women had enough to move out of the way as it was, with all the layers, etc.

    Am I the only one not seeing the purpose of the extra flapping fabric in front? It almost looks like an elephant's trunk in shape, really strange!
  9. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member

    I still don't see it. Yes, loose and baggy was common, I have handled dozens of those Victorian bloomers, but these are more than just baggy, and I have never seen anything like these. The drawers in the Regency photo shown are not like these she is showing us. The pair on the left has a super large waist and are so are large and baggy all over, that makes sense (but still, no weird flap). The garment she shows has a small waist (25"), so why all the added volume in the center front? The waist size should somehow conform to the bagginess, to some degree, I would think.

    And oh my gosh, if all that extra hanging flap/volume was in the back, that is even stranger (to me).

    Perhaps these had some special purpose, is all I can think of. Pehaps some extra protection was needed, or extra modesty for some occasion or purpose? Or am I fantasizing? I am adding this to my garments of mystery list!!

    Thank you for showing us these. And thanks Nicole for those photos, I especially love the drawers on the right, with the lace up front!
  10. Retro Ruth

    Retro Ruth Administrator Staff Member

    Maternity? The flap at the front to cover a growing bump? Rather a small, and not adjustable, waist though, for a pregnant lady.

    Or did drawers ever go over a bustle?

    just thought I'd add some ideas to the mix!
  11. sewingmachinegirl

    sewingmachinegirl VFG Member

    I agree with Nicole that the opening should be at the front. All the references I have ever seen, and in exhibitions they have been worn that way. But I have never seen this flap before- I feel like it maybe is pushed through to the crutch or something.
    I just need time to have a play with a small size mock up, maybe later today!!
  12. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s VFG Member

    i too think the flap goes on the back and the opening on the front. the flap on the back makes sense to sit on, rather than it hanging in the front, not serving any purpose.

    i thought about the possibility of it being for maternity, if the flap went on the front, but what pregnant woman is going to have a 25 inch waist?
  13. I think I agree they had a special purpose and were made this way to cover up something!!
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014

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