One hundred years ago, there were no thermal underwear, waterproof membrane fabrics, fleece, and all those modern comfy garments that keep us warm today. In those days, people had to be content with heavy wool, furs, and layers and layers of clothing to survive harsh winters. But what garments did they use? Finland, -25ºC, 1893. What does a fashionable lady wear outside? Let us have a peek at the winter layers of the Belle Epoque.
Starting with a chemise, drawers (in newly fashionable black), and warm stockings. And fine boots, of course.
Fully boned corset next.
A sneaky close-up of the corset.
A warm, quilted petticoat in silk and wool, with wool batting. Quilted petticoats were worn for centuries, as they were warm, practical, and pretty.
A cotton petticoat with flounces. And a silk petticoat/underskirt with lace.
A warm camisole or a blouse – or both! Here, a warm flannel cotton blouse is used. A knitted wool vest underneath was another option.
A boucle wool skirt, lined. Lots of layers to keep the legs nice and warm.
A winter jacket in wool, lined with wool and trimmed with fur.
A warm hat is a must! As are the gloves.
Elaborate braiding decoration was very much in fashion.
All the braiding was done by hand – it took 124 hours alone for this one!
The inside of the jacket.
Another option: instead of a jacket, a coat could be worn. This one is based on an 1895 plate, in napped wool and flannel lining.