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Victorian/Edwardian lingerie...help appreciated!

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by denisebrain, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG President Staff Member

    1. This one is fitted at the bust, and then not so fitted. A Victorian corset cover?:


    2. Victorian or Edwardian chemise?:


    Any idea of the era and what the items are would be greatly appreciated!
  2. pastperfect2

    pastperfect2 Alumni +

    Both are chemises. The first - early, I think with the fitted short sleeves.Maybe 1860s- 1880s?The second, I think Edwardian - Teens.

    We need Lei to narrow it down.

  3. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG President Staff Member

    Thank you Hollis! I was under the impression that chemises would not have buttons, but I truly am naive about the subject. Maybe I'll send Lei a U2U and see if she is around.
  4. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

  5. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG President Staff Member

    Thank you Mary, I think so too. The embroidery (particularly on the second chemise) is unbelievably meticulous and beautiful!
  6. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    I think both chemises are Edwardian - the first one c1905-1910. The second one is a bit later.
  7. Maggie, I agree on Edwardian for the second but I have a similar style to the first and mine is from about 1820-30s. Is yours entirely hand sewn? I'm wondering if it's a Regency petticoat for a girl, hence the short length and flat chest.

  8. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG President Staff Member

    Nicole, it is machine sewn for the most part, with certain things, like the tucks, hand sewn.
  9. Thanks Maggie - in that case I agree that it's probably Edwardian, but still wonder if it's for a little girl.

    Great job on the modelling - they're both beautiful.

  10. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG President Staff Member

    I believe you must think I'm smaller than I am Nicole...The bust on this is about 34" so it isn't tiny, just hard for me to pull off! :rolleyes:

    Thank you, and vertugarde, for setting me straight.
  11. Maggie, I've seen you modelling an awful lot of tiny dresses! But you're probably right: the chemise has shape and a 34" bust is still woman sized, just small woman sized.

    re; dating, I'll still defer to Lei as this era is not my area of expertise.

  12. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG President Staff Member

    This chemise probably would work best for someone about 33"-33.5" at the bust, so it wouldn't gape open between the buttons. That's a little out of my realm!

    I have let Lei know I'd love her opinion, so we'll see.
  13. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    The long darts shaping the front of the first chemise and going well over the hips follow the corset silhouette for the Edwardian period I suggest. It maybe that the sleeves, which are typical of some mid-Victorian corset covers, are suggestive of an earlier date. This is not a camisole or a chemise from that period. If it were a chemise it would be long. If it was a camisole it would be much shorter finishing just below the waist.
  14. boncly

    boncly VFG Member

    Could the long darts in the front be later additions? The photo makes one look longer than the other? Are there gussets in the underarms?

    I'm with Hollis, that is definitely a chemise style seen 1860-1880 with the length, yoke, open neckline and sleeves. It's those long darts that shape it that makes me wonder.

    Can't wait to see what Lei says. :)

    Diana--> loves a mystery
  15. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    The first one looks Victorian to me - with the long princess line seams I would have though late 1870s - early 1880s. That meandering braid decoration is typically Victorian - not Edwardian. The tiny little pleats at the hem are also typically Victorian, to create some body in the garment. I am not sure if you would call it a chemise or not because buttons are more typically found on garments worn over a corset, rather than under. Also the tiny pleats suggest they wanted this garment to have shape, in which case it would have been starched to death to help create the silhouette and you don't wear starchy clothing next to your skin - you would be sticky all day...Maggie, does the back of it have gathering or pleats like it was intended to fit over a bustle or is it smooth over the buttocks?

    The second one is a classic late Edwardian chemise - c. 1910 -- those trifoliate clover/shamrock style leafy patterns are so popular in the early 20th century.
  16. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    I would like to see some examples of that pattern if it is mid-Victorian so if someone could post up one that would be great. I'm all for backing up dating with visual references whenever possible.
  17. denisebrain

    denisebrain VFG President Staff Member

    Here is a view of the back:


    Jonathan, as you can see it is smooth but flaring. Diana, the darts are the same on both sides, and seem original, but I could be wrong about that.
  18. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    I think its safely mid-late 70s when the princess line is popular and the skirts are padded towards the rear but not bustly. The off-the-shoulder style makes me think it was intended for evening wear, or a gauzey summer dinner dress - something on the formal side.
  19. boncly

    boncly VFG Member

    Yes ... what Jonathan said. :)

    As usual, I can't put my hands on the exact reference on that yoke and dating and so forth and I've really got to get busy on other projects right now ... but after a quick look around, I found this in Costume in Detail - I don't know if it's ok to post, so I'll remove it in a few hours.

    It's almost a chemise, but has a similar yoke. I can see a drawing of a yoke that's almost identical to Maggie's in my head - probably a Peterson's or Godeys mid 19th c. It'll take some time to put my hands on it.


    Also ... the center back seam on Maggie's ... that seems different to me, but again it makes me want to go find out more! :)

    It also seems to me that a woman might use bits and pieces of different styles - whatever she felt comfortable with or suited a particular need (for instance as Jonathan noted, the off shoulder) as no one is going to see the underpinnings and consider them "outdated" or "out of style".

    Just something to ponder. :scratchchin:

  20. crinolinegirl

    crinolinegirl Alumni


    That one with the buttons looks to be about 1876- 1877 ish. I would say it's a corset cover BUT very unusual with the way it extends down the hips. I agree with Jonathan that it's an evening wear one as well. Because long lines and low bustles were popular during this time frame (which is why princess seamed slips became popular to minimize bulk), I reckon that this would have been worn OVER the corset AND a low bustle smoothing out the line between the two undersupports.
    The dropped sholder seams are common for that time until the 1880's but the yoke is a throw back to the 1840's- 1860's.

    Regardless it's very unusual and rare.

    The 2nd one is def Edwardian about 1910 as well. Like Jonathan said, that typoe of work was popular for that era.


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