Cut! – Jane Eyre – Jane’s undergarments

Costume Poster

My previous post about the wedding dress from Jane Eyre gave a little sneak peek of the undergarments used to create the look for the dress itself. It probably is no surprise that I found the undergarments way more interesting than the dress itself.

Need a reminder?  Here’s that sneak-peek photo again, showing the dress in the foreground, with the undergarments in the background – complete with a chemise, corset, bloomers and hoop skirt/support.

From Jane Eyre

And below… the full version of the undergarments.

From Jane Eyre

I don’t know why the hem on the hoop is red – but I can remember several references (none of which can I find on short notice!) talking about petticoats and other underskirts being made of red flannel or red serge (both wool) so I imagine this has more to do with trend or fashion than practicality.  After all, a woman would have used one hoop under several different skirts, and I would imagine that a flash of red from under a more somber coloured dress would have been interesting… if you know the reason – please fill me in in the comments below!

From Jane Eyre

Above is a close up of the chemise, with a narrow ivory ribbon through a wide trim of lace, lots of tucking and lace insertion, and pale pink feather stitch embroidery. Tiny self-covered(?) buttons trim the front

From Jane Eyre

Here’s a photo of the top of the corset, with a wide band of red embroidered white cloth to bind the top, and hand-stitching also in red at the end of the bones.  I wish that the corset back was visible, and I would have liked to see this in different lighting to get a better idea of some of the lines of construction for the corset too.  Ah well!

From Jane Eyre

I found the adjustable center front for the top of the hoop skirt kind of interesting, and although hoops haven’t been my area of study, I really haven’t seen this before.  This is another area I’ll ask for comments about.. do you know what this is for?  It would appear that the hoop below the lacing panel is fixed in circumference, so the lacing only can affect the shape of the two upper-most hoops.  Would this have been done to change the shape?  If so, I can only imagine it changing slightly – so what’s the point here?  Also, why is the panel in the front versus the back?

From Jane Eyre

A close up of the red twill tape connecting the hoops and the leather strap used to create the lacing panel.  I find it interesting that eyelets were used instead of rivets on the twill tape to create the straps for the hoops.  I wonder if this was intentional?  (Or a make-due when someone ordered lots of eyelets and not enough rivets!?)

From Jane Eyre

A shot of the red panel at the bottom, softening the final edge of the hoop.

So… I have a few questions about the hoop – can you answer them in the comments below?

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4 comments on “Cut! – Jane Eyre – Jane’s undergarments

  1. F says:

    the era of the jane eyre movie is around 1830’s in that time there were no hoopskirts, the hoopskirts become fashionable around 1850’s and up.

    In the 1830’s the woman wear several stiffened petticoat and sometimes they wear corded petticoats.

    • Dawn says:

      Well, this movie was set in the “mid 1800’s” according to the poster – so perhaps they used some creative license with costuming for that era?

  2. Fed_Up says:

    I *do* know that red flannel was supposed to be efficacious in either treating, or lessening the effects of, smallpox – certainly since Elizabethan times (& modern science curiously bears out their findings, at least to a degree – something about red filtering out a certain spectrum of light?), so perhaps that was the reason??

    • Dawn says:

      Hmmm that is an interesting idea – I vaguely recall something like that as well…. wish I still had my one history book – I bet it’s in there! Thanks for commenting! Something worth looking into (if I were wanting to recreate something similar.. if i had time!)

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