Pages

Baby Slip (Chemise?) or Child's Undershirt?

Okay, all you period-correct experts out there...

I LOVE this little thing I found on the Wisconsin Historical Society Children's Collection. It looks very much (in style) like some of the baby chemises of the 1850s-60s, except it has a longer skirt and no buttons on the shoulders. The neckline appears to be boat-neck once it's on the baby/child because the sleeves will be pulled down. I want to make this as a baby chemise for Victoria.

Problem is, it's listed under childrens clothing, not infants. It says it's a "Child's Undershirt 1850-59". Seems like it should be a chemise, rather than a shirt.


In comparison, this is listed as a "White Cotton Baby's Slip 1863-65". It's a little longer, has different seaming and has frills, but the basic shape is the same as the one above.

So my question is...is the first image more likely a baby chemise/slip? Or if not, will it still work as a chemise for Victoria during the "infant" ages for the early 1860s? She'll be 5 months at our next reenactment. Can I use it even though she's still a young baby? Or should she still be in the open shirts? I'm just not sure when you're supposed to change from first shirts to second shirts or chemises or whatever... I know you're supposed to shorten the dresses around 9 months, but that's about all I know. I never thought baby clothes would be so confusing.

Can you tell I can't wait for her to be in "little girl" clothes? I always wanted a Mini-Me. ;) I can't wait for the little chemises and child's corset and tiny hoops. Just watch, though....she'll probably turn out to be a tom-boy just to spite me.

Hope you are all having a lovely Monday morning. Down here in Central Texas, we are 57
˚ with a clear blue sky and sunny. That's chilly for us. I'm sure a lot of you are all starting to get snow or freeze.

- Amy

5 comments:

Mrs. G said...

Amy, my very *unexpert* opinion is that they look enough alike in shaping to make them fine for infant or child. Stephanie Brennan had a post on the S.A. about 1st shirts being WAY more common than chemises for infants, but at 5 months she could be in shorter dresses so maybe chemises would be fine then anyway..... I'm sorry I'm not more help. :-)

Paris

Historical Ken said...

I know quite a bit about men's period clothing but not much at all about infants.
Sorry

Amy said...

Mrs. G - that's what I was thinking. Chemises aren't as convenient as the open shirts...but I do love the look of chemises rather than the squarish shirts.

Sarah Jane said...

I like the look of both of them, but beyond thinking a chemise would be fine, I have no help to offer! :( 5 months can be a very transitional age, it all depends on the individual baby! (I put my oldest in short dresses around 6 months because he was starting to creep and long ones just got in the way, and it has seemed to be that way for all the boys; Malachi was put in shortened dresses in August, when he was around 6 or 7 months)

They are both adorable styles!

baby grow said...

Undershirts keep your child's regular shirt smelling more fresh. Most undershirts have a great deal of wear in them.