Stockings & Stays: A New Display!

We are excited to throw open our doors tomorrow and reveal a new display that we have been installing this week. 'Jane Austen Undressed' showcases Regency underwear - from stays and petticoats to chemises and stockings. Alongside historical garments we are displaying items of costume from film and TV adaptations - including *that* white shirt...

Installing a new display at Jane Austen’s House is always exciting!

In Jane Austen Undressed, we wanted to explore an area of Jane Austen’s world that her readers would have been intimate with. From  chemises to stays to petticoats, the many layers that a Regency woman wore beneath her gown needed no explanation to Jane’s contemporaries, but they are unfamiliar today.

We seized the chance to display historical pieces of Regency underwear alongside iconic pieces from film and TV adaptations – including two key pieces of costume from the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice

Lizzy Bennet’s petticoat is seen alongside that white shirt, last seen diving into a lake on Mr Darcy, played by Colin Firth. Both garments bring us a little closer to understanding the character.

Lizzy’s muddy petticoat reveals her love of freedom and the outdoors, as she refuses to adhere to convention and walks five miles across muddy fields to Netherfield, instead of travelling sedately in her father’s carriage.

Darcy’s dive into the lake in his shirtsleeves (very much an intimate, private garment at the time) also reveals how comfortable he feels in nature, as he reveals a more informal, less starched side of his personality.

We love this display and we can’t wait for you to see it!

Jane Austen Undressed will be open from 26 March – 2 October 2022.

Find out more about Jane Austen Undressed.

You can enjoy the display at Jane Austen’s House in Chawton or view the online exhibition!

Tell us what you think! Tag us on social @JaneAustensHouse #JaneAustensHouse