Wednesday, November 5, 2014

1875 Undergarments

These are just tidbits on Undergarments and discussions about them from 1875.

“ Dress Reform: a Series of Lectures Delivered in Boston on Dress asit Afl'ecta the Health of Woman.” Edited by Abba Goold Woolson. With illustrations. Boston : Roberts Brothers.
The lectures which are reprinted here were widely published in the journals at the time of their delivery. Criticism of women's dress by lecturers is no new thing, but this movement of last year made a decided advance upon its predecessors, in that it did result not merely in definite recommendations, but also in some provision for carrying them out. A new garment was invented, and a manufactory for producing it for the market was started. No doubt the striking costumes and figures so often seen on our streets are proof that the mode of woman's dress has not yet been Very generally afl'ected, but on the other hand we believe the Chemiloon Factory (or should we say Institution?) in Boston is really well patronized. The theory upon which this gnnnent is constructed is that the skirts should be hung from the shoulder instmd of bound about tl'n waist, and that the pressure upon the shoulder should not bein narrow hands as with suspenders, but should be distributed over the whole width of the shoulders. An under garment, in the form of a loose waist, is accordingly made, which at its lower part carries buttons by which the skirts are suspended. Suspenders are recommended as superior to fastening around the waist, but the commendation of the dress reformers to replace the chemise with a garment composed of waist and drawers in one, which carries rows of buttons at the waist for the underskirt, and the balmoral, stockings, and other garments. Particular directions are given for the cutting of skirts so as to avoid the usual multiplication of bands about the waist. Whether all of the recommendations made by the reformers will be adopted is perhaps doubtful; but those which relate to undergarments and do not alter the outerappearance will probably have the best success, in the beginning at least; andas we have mid, there is already one establishment for the sale of chemiloons which is in operation and well patronized. In addition to the lectures, the book hasa chapter giving directions tor the making of all the garments recommended. It is embellished with illustrations of several ot'them, and there is also a t'rontispiece in which a Grecian statue, a portrait (of Lady Washington 7), and a modern belle are all grouped, and we have never seen a picture of this kind in which either the Grecian or the girl of the period appeared to lam advantage.
Source: The Galaxy ©1875

This came from The Public Ledger Memphis Tenn June 6, 1875 It's a great image of what male drawers looked like with their buttons and such. Note the strings at the hem of each pant leg.

This last tidbit was published in 1873 a couple years before 1875, however, I believe it is good insight into how many undergarments, how to care for them, when to make them, etc.

For the Southern Cultivator.

Much vexation attending the art of dressing would be avoided by consistency with the circumstances of each individual.
Circumstances of time and place, age, complexion, and form. Circumstances, also, of health and comfort, occupation or leisure; but especially must dress be modified universally to the depth of the individual's pocket. "Beauty is a duty," but not so pressing an one as honesty of character. In the excited chase after ever-changing fashion, the poor go beyond their means in a vain attempt to imitate others, while the wealthy experience a continual annoyance in seeing their rich attire burlesqued by ridiculous imitations.
Truo gentility of appearance always legin3
with personal cleanliness, which means a daily bath, with attention to the teeth, hair, and nails Genuine neatness next—displays itself in » white, though d/irned stocking, and a well kept shoe. Then daily dressed hair—even, thougbs plain and unpretending the arrangement, must alwa3rs precede any attempt at successful dressing.
A mistaken idea that much ornament audi fancy work on underclothing is necessary t<> gentility, leads to extravagance, and many false pretentions. A sufficient number of plain and1 neatly made undergarments is preferable kr an. insufficient supply, though they be of linen and cambric.
Some honsc-holdfe should purchase two boltsof unbleached shirting and unbleached drilling, to one of bleached, or perhaps a still larger proportion. The cost is less, it wears about twice as long, and with good washing, whitens rapidly. Undergarments- should always be made in the fall, that the newness of the cloth may give warmth to the body. Those who cannot afford linen for summer wear, will gratefully diseover that the winter's use has no more than prepared their garments for the warm season. When it is necessary to make for the whole year, sets, of six or eight will be quite adequate, but at the same time not a surplus number, to interfere with a re-furnishing by winter again.
Drawers for very small children should be of bleached drilling; but the bodies, the drawers and bodies for larger children, gentlemens drawers and night-shirts, and the undergarmentsof ladies (except shirtsj can all be made of yellow cloth. But by all means let the sowing be as carefully done as if for finer cloth; cord used,, if no other trimmings. The home-made trimmings, crotchet, Spanish work, tatting, or a linen ruffle, will be found to wear as well as yellow cloth.
It is far preferable to make night-robes of bleached cloth at all times for ladies, as they are used so often in case of sickness. A pretty idea is to trim ladie's garments in sets. Bodies for children's drawers and underskirts must be long and quite loose, to give the dress a better fit; if too short, a child will always keep the dress slipped up to the same line. Every garment worn by a child should be loose; a close fit on a child is never becoming, on. the contrary, it gives the ludicrous appearance of a stuffed frog. It is a prevailing fault to make children's, clothes too short in the waist
Just here, let it be remarked, that girls after they have learned to depend upon their own taste, should be allowed a specified amount annually, or monthly, for dressing. It exercises in them discrimination in purchasing, and encourages economy in out-fit, which they will be sure to call into use in after years. This privilege of economizing to suit themselves, will interest, as well as prove a great convenience to tbem.— No dread then of calling on father too often, or of being reprimanded or complained of, in turn by him. "PARMER'S WIFE."
Macon County, Ga., Sept., 1873.

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