It’s steamy weather in New England. Nowadays when temperatures soar, we shed layers of clothing. Depending on our age and fashion sense, we wear not only fewer clothes, but skimpier ones: short sleeves or no sleeves, short skirts, short shorts.
This was not the case in times past. An Edwardian lady would faint dead away if someone proposed she go out of her bedroom, let alone go out in public, with her limbs exposed. Same goes for her predecessors.
As Isabella/Susan has shown in dress posts here and here, the solution in the past was lighter weight, airier materials.
For the late Victorian and Edwardian eras and continuing into the 1920s, the solution was the lingerie dress. During a visit to the American Textile History Museum in Lowell Massachusetts for Astrida Schaeffer's talk, Mentioning Unmentionables, I took photos of this fine example of a lingerie dress from the museum's collection.
I’m posting the information card from the museum, but you can find out a great deal more about lingerie dresses from this post at On Pins and Needles, which includes some lovely illustrations.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.