Visit Winchester > Events > Stockings and Stays: A New Display

Stockings and Stays: A New Display

26 Mar 2022 - 2 Oct 2022

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Jane Austen’s House are excited to throw open their doors  and reveal a new display that they have been installing this week. ‘Jane Austen Undressed’ showcases Regency underwear – from stays and petticoats to chemises and stockings. Alongside historical garments they are displaying items of costume from film and TV adaptations – including *that* white shirt…

In Jane Austen Undressed, Jane Austen’s House 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.

They 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.

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Please visit their website for details of opening hours.