Ok, so in my not-quite-steampunk novel, I have a scene where I have a very handsome pirate interrogating my heroine (no, he's not remotely the love interest), who is essentially dressed in a rather long, loose shirt and presumably, underwear. I just realized I've never actually addressed the issue of underwear in this world, and thought this might be a good time to start.

This world is very loosely based on Victorian times, mostly in terms of technology (with magic) and aesthetics. But not necessarily sharing all the Victorian ideals and prudishness. In general, if women are wearing largish, poofy dresses, would it make sense at all for them to not be wearing giant bloomers under them,and instead wearing more modern style underwear (i.e. tiny)?

More specifically to my heroine, my heroine will probably have tiny underwear anyway, but she's from another country with a more sexually open nature (Most of the modesty she has would probably be more for the benefit of the people she's usually around, not herself). And she was dressed in a men's field uniform (before she got stripped) that traditional Victorian women's undergarments would not fit under. And for some reason, the only pictures I seem to find of men's underwear are long johns which I don't think would work for this. I could just have her not have anything (which might make more sense, if she was wearing the men's underwear, but got stripped of that), but I'm not really trying to eroticize the moment here. The pirate is willing to sexualize her, but he's more interested in making her as uncomfortable as possible.

Thoughts? What works for you when your characters need to cover up the naughty bits?

(Cue Austin Powers' pineapples and coconuts.)

(And it's not a silly scene, but apparently looking up Victorian underwear puts me in a silly mood.)



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