Ladies’ Underpants

Chur, 2nd half of 19th century

If the famous Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) discovered underpants under ladies’ skirts, he was indignant: because for women the wearing of underpants was considered as downright outrageous. Underpants were generally unusual for a long time. First it was the military that contributed to their gradual distribution: soldiers were recommended to wear underwear for hygienic reasons.

In the 19th century the new piece of clothing gradually became common for both sexes. Ladies’ underpants reached down to the knees and were usually open at the crotch. However, underpants were only taken for granted in the 20th century. In the collection of the Raetian Museum there are 36 different models.