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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1835 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen, trimmed with cotton, hand-sewn

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss Blake

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Fashion, Room 40, case CA3, shelf FIG1

This ensemble illustrates the items of underwear that women wore in the 1830s. The shift had been an essential element of underwear for centuries and remained so in the 19th century. At that time it was more politely referred to by its French name, chemise. When the sheer fabrics and rather clinging styles of Neo-classical dress became fashionable in the 1790s, drawers were introduced into the female wardrobe for the sake of modesty. They continued to be worn when 19th century dresses evolved into more substantial styles. The corset is lightly boned and reinforced with cording. There is a long narrow pocket in the front for the busk, a wide piece of wood or ivory, which kept the corset stiff and flat in front.

Physical description

Hand-sewn linen shift trimmed with cotton. The shift has short sleeves and a frilled neckline.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1835 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Linen, trimmed with cotton, hand-sewn


Circumference: 180 cm Circumference of hem, Height: 93 cm Maximum height, from neckline at front to hem, Circumference: 64 cm Circumference at bust, Length: 25 Sleeve length cm, Circumference: 25 cm Circumference of sleeve cuff

Descriptive line

Hand-sewn linen shift trimmed with cotton, England, ca. 1835


Linen (material); Cotton (textile)


Hand sewing


Clothing; Underwear; Textiles; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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