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Sidesaddle Habit Question

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  • Sidesaddle Habit Question

    Before the "modern" habit, which IIRC is modelled approximately on late Victorian/Edwardian fashions, what did women wear under their dresses. I'm doing research on the late-Georgian/Regency period in England when women still wore dresses and not aprons with breeches to ride. Pantaloons or "drawers" then were still two legs, tied at the waist, not sewn at the crotch. Yikes! Do you think women who rode a lot just had breeches made for them and wore them under their dresses?

    Here are some pictures - but obviously they don't show the skivvies. Thanks for any input!
    Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. - Gandhi

  • #2
    Can't really help you from an educated perspective, but the very last entry on that page you linked mentions stockings:

    A stone coloured habit, trimmed round the body with swansdown, and ornamented entirely across the bosom with a thick row of rich silk braiding to correspond Waist much shorter than they have been worn for some time, and the sleeve longer and looser than those of the last three months. Regency hat of black beaver or seal skin, ornamented with an elegant feather of the same colour, and finished by a gold button and loop on one side. Large bear or seal skin muff; stone coloured kid gloves, and black kid sandals. Some elegantes wear silk stockings, to correspond with the habit; but white are more general.
    Really interesting link, though. I love the more flowy look of some of the habits.
    According to the Mayan calendar, the world will not end this week. Please plan your life accordingly.


    • Original Poster

      I saw that too, except stockings were tied with garters above the knee, still leaving the nether regions ventilated.
      Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. - Gandhi


      • #4
        Actually they wore leather breeches. Or chamois breeches with a strap under the foot to keep them from riding up on the legs. It also gave them a good grip on the saddle. Also "Pantaloons" were just that, tight form fitting pants. Check the definition in Websters Dictionary.They were not lacey bloomers. Ever tried to ride with lacey bloomers? They creep up your legs and end up in your crotch. All bunched up. Yeah I see sometimes at horse shows women in lacey bloomers and petticoats with lots of lace showing. But that was not the way the women really rode. There are costume books that show what the women wore with their habits. I just can't remember the titles right now. It has been a while since I did costumes. If they wore boots they wore them just a bit shorter than the men's knee high boots. Some wore ankle high boots.
        I think there is a reprint of Harper's Baazar by Dover books that shows what women wore under their habits.
        The equestrian corsets went out of fashion for the habit coats that had boning sewn in them. Every generation made improvements in the habits and even now ladies are making subtle changes.
        Hope this helps

        Originally posted by J. Turner View Post
        I saw that too, except stockings were tied with garters above the knee, still leaving the nether regions ventilated.


        • #5
          There are a few gals on the sidesaddle yahoo groups who take historical accuracy very seriously and could answer your questions - you should join the group!

          Originally Posted by JSwan
          I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


          • #6
            Originally posted by MyGiantPony View Post
            There are a few gals on the sidesaddle yahoo groups who take historical accuracy very seriously and could answer your questions - you should join the group!
            & come straight back here & educate us!

            This thread is along the same lines as the smart slim one, but a lot classier just because of the historical Interest. No questions about "anal floss" back in the old days Not to mention worrying about accidently putting the "whale tail" on display. Oh the things I learn here. We've come a long way
            Last edited by Creaghgal; Jan. 15, 2010, 12:28 PM.
            "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by MyGiantPony View Post
              There are a few gals on the sidesaddle yahoo groups who take historical accuracy very seriously and could answer your questions - you should join the group!
              Please let me know which you suggest.
              Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. - Gandhi


              • #8
                sidesaddle@yahoogroups.com probably has more members who do re-enactment or historic research.

                Originally Posted by JSwan
                I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


                • #9
                  I do Antebellum classes (on a walking horse, so our historic period might be later than what you're researching) and I've always been told to wear old school breeches preferably (mine are a Pytchley, from the 70s I believe) or new breeches in "normal" colors Coming from saddleseat people I've always found the "normal colors" part amusing....guess that means those new powdered blue Tailored Sportsmans are out huh?

                  I have heard that ladies did NOT wear big white fluffy bloomers under their riding dresses as we would assume, in fact in certain classes under certain judges you are required to show your breeches in order to be authentic!