Victorian London - Clothing - Drawers

     Ladies should not be sparing of flannel petticoats and drawers are of incalculable advantage to women, preventing many of the disorders and indispositions to which British females are subject. The drawers may be made of flannel, calico or cotton and should reach as far down the leg as possible without their being seen.

The Handbook of the Toilet 1841

    Unless the constitution, however, be peculiarly weak, we should not recommend the drawers to be made of flannel, but of fine calico, and they need not descend much below the knees. Thus understood, the adoption of drawers will doubtless become more general in the country, as, being worn without the knowledge of the general observer, they will be robbed of the prejudice usually attached to an appendage deemed masculine. From drawers to trowsers the distance was never great; so, perhaps, some of our readers may ask "should not, then, the costume worn in childhood be retained"? To this we at once reply in the negative. The usual dress of English-women requires no such modification, either for health or grace. As it is, it imparts warmth, comfort, and elegance. But besides imparting warmth to the body, dress has its undoubted effect over the imagination and conduct of the wearer; and in assuming our costume, there would be a great likelihood of women assuming our masculine manners, which would not enhance their charms. It is, therefore, important, that there should be a different costume for the girl and the woman, in order that on quitting one for the other, girls should feel that they were promoted in Society and that therefore more is expected of them.

Edward John Tilt, Elements of Health and Principles of Female Hygiene, 1852