|Regency chemise and corset/stays|
Underpinnings make your gown, if you want to look period correct, you need to wear the underwear of that period as well.
We live in a time were our body's own shape creates the look of the outwear, we wear a minimum of underthings, bra, knickers, tights, maybe a spenser if its cold. We like to ensure that our underwear is invisible, the 'panty line' look is avoided at all costs. But in the 20th, 19th, 18th, 17th, centuries and beyond, the underpinings were the basis for the shape of your look. Without them you won't look right in your 19th C Regency gown or your 18th C polonaise or your 16th C Tudor gown.
On ABC's Radio National today I listened to Fashion in the fifties. Diane Masters was a fashion model, or a mannequin as they were called then, one of a generation of professional models who were photographed by the leading image-makers of the day in Australia; Helmut Newton and Athol Shmith. She discussed the importance of underpinings to the look of the gown, the bra shape, the step-ins (corsets), the petticoats, all worked to create the desired shape that the fashion designer was after.
So if you want the right look, start from the inside out, below are the underpinings for the early Regency:
|Back of corset/stays|
|Front of corset stays, these give the 'shelf' look that was fashionable'|
|Ensure your outwear works!|
|Back of gown|
So, if your still reading, get the right underpinings for the right period and don't mix and match them either :)