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chelseakenna asked you:
Hey! I have a random question that was inspired by those drawings and you are my resident historical fashion expert (and I know NOTHING about this stuff). Were the multi-layered undergarments generally worn in cooler climates? Are there examples of alternate options from the same culture/era for trips or living in warmer areas? I cry at the thought of wearing ALL THAT STUFF in, say, here in CA in the summer. For that matter, do you know why so many layers were the preference in these cultures?
So hotter weather would generally mean thinner fabric, and less layers; women could opt for more breathable cotton undergarments:
…skeleton or mesh corsets:
…and/or lightweight linen/cotton dresses:
…All of which would somewhat relieve the stresses of layering up every morning, if not entirely. :) Lots of activewear and travelwear from the period reflects this sort of thing- way easier to move and sweat in it without getting heat stroke.
I don’t think layers were a preference, per se, so much as they were a necessity to obtain the shaped, inhuman ideal of the period; undergarments kept you from sweating and dirtying your corset, the corset cinches you into shape, the petticoat and corset cover smooth out the lines, etc- they were all ends to a means.
If anyone else has more info on this they are more than welcome to chime in! Lord knows I DESPISE wearing my Steampunk getup at SDCC. So gross.
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