- Under Garment Definitions for the Clothing Industry
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Pantalettes are undergarments covering the legs worn by women, girls, and very young boys in the early- to mid-nineteenth century.
A form of leggings or long drawers, pantalettes originated in France in the 1820s and quickly spread to Britain and America. Pantalettes could be one-piece or two separate garments, one for each leg, attached at the waist with buttons or laces. They were most often of white linen fabric and could be decorated with tucks, lace, cutwork or broderie anglaise.
Ankle-length pantalettes for women were worn under the crinoline and hoop skirt to ensure that the legs were modestly covered. Pantalettes for children and young girls were mid-calf to ankle-length and were intended to show under their shorter skirts.
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