Mrs. Pretty's new outfitThank you SO MUCH for this article and this entire series of articles! How did the woman from this time period support her skirt? In other words, were the shirtwaists just "tucked" into the skirts, which were almost certainly heavier than the delicate shirtwaists? The petticoats, either princess style or waisted did not have hooks, did they? The shirtwaists appear far too delicate to withstand a hook for supporting skirts. I think there MUST have been some mechanism for managing this other than simply tucking, because otherwise, they would be constantly rearranging shirtwaist and skirt.
The way the shirt-waist is mounted on a fitted foundation, plus being gathered in and secured at waist level but extended to high hip, means that the shirt-waist behaves itself all day and doesn't do that "untucky" thing (being effectively "perma-tucked"). It is also worn over a corset (which means the body doesn't wriggle around like a modern one - and the feather-boning helps keep the vertical seams under control. The skirt supports itself, either on a waistband or grown-on waist. I've worn this all day, very comfortably, being quite active and didn't need to re-tuck once. Princess petticoats do up with buttons, and waisted ones are starting to have either a shaped, dropped waistband, +/- elastic. I'm not completely sure though what you mean about "supporting skirts" - they just fit to the waist as modern ones do.
Thank you very much. You answered all my questions. Sorry about the sentence with poor syntax. The phrase "for supporting skirts" was really an adjective phrase intended to modify the noun "hooks." What kind of hooks? Those that support skirts. Again, beautiful series.
Cathy Hay: Founder
British costume artist Cathy Hay is the creator and publisher of both Foundations Revealed and the award-winning Your Wardrobe Unlock'd, which were borne out of a grand wish to help...