From Undergarment to Outergarment and Back Again

The chemise originated as an undergarment. In fact, when it was first created, it was only ever worn under other clothing. That was the entire reason it was created: to protect the expensive outer clothing from getting dirty and stained from the oils on the skin. Back in the medeival days, people didn’t have the abundance of clothing that we do nowadays, so they had to take good care of the few clothing items they had. They also didn’t have washers and dryers, so washing clothing was more of a chore. It was especially difficult to wash more delicate fabrics and put too much wear on them to do so regularly. Therefore, the chemise was the garment that was washed regularly.

It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that the chemise would ever be considered an outergarment, and it was only done so becaues Queen Marie Antoinette took it upon herself to don what became known as the chemise a la reine in France. The chemise a la reine was a loose-fitting sheer garment that was worn as an outergarment by some.

Then, the chemise went back to being worn as the primary undergarment for a while until the 20th century when the brassiere, panties and girdle came along. When those came onto the scene, the chemise was modified to become a full slip that was sometimes worn over these other undergarments between them and the clothes. It was no longer worn as the primary and only piece of underclothing.

You can still find various types of chemises on the market today. In addition to the practical chemise that helps cover uncergarments and functions like a slip, you can also find a sexy chemise that can be used to make you feel sexier and spice up your relationship with your significant other.