The teddy, formerly known as the “Envelope Chemise”, began in the 1920s and was worn next to the skin, replacing the bra and panties, or over the bra like a slip.
In its early form it had a very straight cut with a simple button closures at the crotch to define the legs. It developed into a more fitted step-in garment with short legs and a fitted bust line in the 1930s and 1940s.
The chemise is an undergarment dating to the Middle Ages. By 19th C, it is a cotton , linen or silk undergarment, knee length and worn next to the skin under the corset with or without drawers. In the later 1910’s and 1920’s, when chemises shortened , they came to be known as camisoles, and chemise was considered an old fashioned term. Chemise Dress – the term ( with shift) for a fashionable dress that hangs straight from the shoulder with no waistline, which may have a loose sash at the waist, hips or even bust.
Written by Hollis Jenkins-Evans/pastperfect2