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Italian ladies underpants

The word braies is usually used to denote men's loose underpants which extended down to the middle of the calf and were laced in the front. Ladies underpants extended below the knees, and the word breeches may be more appropriate.
This is our interpretation of a photograph of an extant piece of women's underpants, probably from 2nd half of 16th century Italy. They were made from white linen with typical black embroidery at the bottom hem.
At the waist-line, there was a hollow waist-band, open in the front and in the back. A lace was threaded through and tied in the front to fit.
The pattern is so simple that the front and the back look identical!

Click for bigger pattern image


Based on: The History of Underclothes; C. Willett & Phillis Cunnington; Londưn 1951; Michael Joseph Ltd.


Patterns of extant garments - Breeches and braies, part 1
Copyright Martina a Martin Hřibovi © 2006