Victorian Lingerie

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It was often what was underneath Victorian women's clothing that created the exquisite silhouettes of the dresses. Corsets emphasized a thin waist, caged crinolines formed voluminous skirts, and bustles projected a dress out from behind. What Victorian lingerie women wore and how they wore it changed rapidly throughout the era due to technological innovation and changing attitudes towards women.

Characteristics of Victorian era lingerie

Ladies of the Victorian period wore many layers of lingerie: chemise (or shift), cut-in crotch knickers that reached to the knee, a corset, stockings, short horsehair crinolines and several starched ankle-length petticoats.

Victorian female underwear was white or beige with a simple design without embroidery or lace. Multi-colored Victorian-era lingerie was considered indecent because no one would see it. Natural fabrics, like linen or cotton, were used to make such lingerie. 

Working-class ladies often wore boneless corsets. During working hours, they were seen wearing lingerie – chemise and stays – without a jacket. However, they continued to wear petticoats, a skirt and headdresses.

Main types of Victorian lingerie

Let's take a closer look at the main kinds of Victorian-style lingerie:

  • Victorian corset lingerie: such a garment was worn throughout the period and gave shape to the top of the dress. The first corsets were long, laced at the back, and with gussets over the hips and for the breasts. The lingerie had a strong base of whalebone and a long and wide busk at the front in the center. Over time, shorter and lighter, sexy Victorian corsets came into fashion.
  • Bustles and crinolines: In the early Victorian era, full skirts were supported with bustles. These include crescent-shaped pillows filled with down or secure frills of cotton satin or twill tied around the waist. Later, hoops made of whalebone or flexible steel were inserted into the petticoat, which we now call the Victorian crinoline.
  • Petticoats: such sexy Victorian lingerie has the same shape as the dresses it supports. In the early Victorian period, skirts were full-length with a sleeveless bodice. They buttoned at the back and were shaped with a pointed waistline like the gowns, with a skirt connected to a bodice with tight pleats. Over the years, they began to wear waist-length skirts more actively.
  • Drawes/bloomers: this lingerie had two tube legs, the inside seams were open at the top, and the legs were only joined by a tape at the waist. Bloomers originally had a length well below the knee but were later shortened.
  • Victorian lingerie dress: it is a lightweight garment, usually white or cream with matching embroidery lace, featuring pintucks and other decorative details, which was often worn as summer clothing in the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Edwardian lingerie gowns were usually made of cotton, less often linen.

Today, you can buy Victorian-inspired lingerie to feel like a natural English aristocrat!

Where to order an authentic Edwardian lingerie dress?

Are you seriously preparing for a costume party and want to buy an extravagant dress and sexy Victorian underwear? Then we recommend looking at the Dress Art Mystery Atelier website, where Victorian lingerie dresses and fantasy outfits from different eras await you.

In our catalogs, you will find many costumes for Halloween, a themed photo shoot, or a wedding ceremony. Perhaps you have an idea for an Edwardian lingerie dress? Tell our fairies about it; they will help you realize your dream. Our specialists pay maximum attention to all procedures and details. Luxury fabrics, exclusive hand embroidery, tailoring taking into account the characteristics of your figure – this is about your future dress. If you have any questions, please write to our email.