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.)

lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)

From: [personal profile] lea_hazel


I think it's less prudishness and more itchiness, honestly. Nontheless, an Edwardian undergarment might suit your needs better. It's longer than modern butt-covering underpants, but not particularly voluminous. Under the men's uniforms are meant to be particularly tight, I see no reason why it shouldn't fit just fine.

The Wikipedia articles about underwear are really interesting, too.
paganpaul: (Default)

From: [personal profile] paganpaul


You could also simply add something of your own idea. Perhaps something you yourself would find convenient/comfortable. Someone from another country will sport the fashion from there, perhaps they are quite specific on underwear there. Or they wear none.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)

From: [personal profile] melannen


I strongly suspect that neither of your characters are wearing underpants. :D

Modern small, tight underpants is less about reduced prudishness, and more about a)wearing tight clothes that loose ones don't fit under, b) having washing machines that means we can have clean underpants every day, and c) lightweight, highly elastic fabrics that make skintight clothing comfortable and easy to fit.

The main reason the only men's underwear you're finding from that period is long johns is that there was no point in bothering with it if not to keep you warm; too much trouble and discomfort (especially on shipboard!). Your male character probably just tucks the long tails of his shirt around himself to protect his trousers. Your female character, when in skirts, would probably either be wearing no underpants, or bloomers with an open crotch (which is what early women's underpants had; don't want to have to bother taking them off to use the privy); crossdressing, she'd probably either wear nothing or long johns if it's cold (like the men would have), or something improvised to give the impression that she's got a package in her pants.
brigid: (Default)

From: [personal profile] brigid


Yeah, this. Underpants are a pretty recent invention. Men's shirts had very long tails for precisely this reason.
vanessagalore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] vanessagalore


try googling "crossdressing of female pirates", I got a bunch of interesting sites
.

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