The 1880's saw a health movement in Britain with simpler more comfortable dress advocated for women, The Dress Reform Movement or Campaign for Rational Dress. A Rational Dress Society was formed in 1881 by Vicountess Harberton & Mrs E M King. The Health Exhibiiton of 1884 was a watershed in the respectability of dress reform, under the aegis of the RDS. Dr Gustave Jaeger, a German Professor of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Stuttgart advocated wearing wool next to the skin, for warmth and to absorb perspiration. He believed that wearing silk, cotton and linen chilled the skin too quickly which became saturated with perspiration and absorbed unpleasant vapours from the body. He claimed that his own health had been improved using his system of woolen underwear and advocated losing wieght by wearing knitted wool from neck to toes and wrists, to encourage perspiration, whereby the activity of the skin drained water from the body. He designed Sanitary Woollen Underwear including petticoats, corsets as well as a range for men incuding combinations. Oscar Wilde lectured on the subject and George Bernard Shaw wore a knitted jersey Jaeger suit. Jaeger's first shop opened in 1883 in Fore Stret, City of London. He also produced a mail order catalgoue. See: Hawthorne, Rosemary Knickers. An Intimate Appraisal p31 See: Tobin, Shelley Inside Out. A brief history of underwear p24 See: Willet, C & Cunnington P The History of Underclothes p195 See: Johnstone, Lucy Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail p 150. The V & A book shows a corset. Very unusual. I have not seen one for sale before. I have other items of Dr Jaeger's underwear including a nightdress and a child's stay bodice, pre Liberty bodice.
wool patticoat, labelled inside back top Sanitary Woolen System Co. Sole Concessionaries. Pure Warranted Wool. B 30 , of natural cololured machine knitted wool , the shaped waistband of twill weave wool, 3 in; 7 cm deep with inset tapes to adjust the waistline, one pearliesed button and buttonhole below, the skirt with four seams, deep hem edged with wool torchon lace trim, circ. 6 ft 6 in;2m; waist 36 in; 80 cm adustable; length 29 in; 74cm.
Excellent, apart from one small moth hole near the back closure, parallel with the button. It can be seen, but could be darned.
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