Defining what a chemise is not as easy as one might think. There are many forms of the chemise still around today. There is the original version of the chemise also called "léine" by the Irish. That is a simple shirt or smock worn under the clothes. Its original design was to keep sweat and body oils from staining and/or spreading to the outer garments. It first became really popular back in the European middle ages. Women would wear them under their gowns or robes depending on their social status. Men even wore chemises with their trousers and covered it with doublets and royal robes, as well. In this day and age, the chemise was the only piece of clothing that was actually regularly washed because it was against the skin. As time moved on, the men's chemise fell out of fashion, but the women's did not. The only remnants left of the male chemise is in shirts today. In most Western cultures, women still wear chemises in some fashion or another. Some styles are still reminiscent of the original, while others are now considered lingerie.
Chemises that still resemble the one from centuries ago come in an array of fabrics today. The standard cotton and satin chemises are the most popular ones. These can be worn under formal Renaissance dress, used as sleepwear, or as shirts. They are still very popular today and have many functions. Most are offered in white, cream, and black so they can be worn under just about anything. The white and cream are the most common colors and most widely used. The black has become more popular in the 20th century and can be used under specific gothic attire. No matter how you use a chemise of this type, it can be fun and fashionable. Not to mention it makes a great and comfortable nightgown as well. This is a lightweight garment that is so comfortable it can be slept in any time of the year.
The other more popular and common type of the chemise is the lingerie piece that has come to the forefront in modern culture. This type of chemise is a slip like garment that has spaghetti type straps to hold it on the shoulders. It can be worn under dresses and/or skirts or used as intimate apparel. This flirty little mini-slip is approximately thigh length or a little above. This is what most Americans call a chemise and not the original garment. These are very easy to find in any department or retail lingerie store just about anywhere. Chemises come in an array of fabric types, colors, and designs. Most styles offer a variety of textures and fabric combinations that can suit any woman's desire. The total possible combinations are endless. Designers have flooded the market with any possible color and/or fabric combination and possibility.
Some common standards for chemises as lingerie are crushed velvet, silk, satin, lace, and mesh. The simple sexy crushed velvet chemise is a classic always. It is sexy and sweet all at the same time. Its soft texture is pleasant to touch and wear yet doesn't reveal too much and is seductively flirty. The silk and satin chemises are soft and sensual and can be a bit more playful. You can get them with just the silk or satin or with a combination of other materials. Many chemises of this style incorporate lace, mesh, embroidery, and sequins for that extra pizzazz. Many women today will wear a chemise as a dress out on the town as long as it is not too revealing. Chemises also come in full lace or mesh and a combination of both. These are sexy play outfits to be worn for intimate play. The color schemes of chemises can range in so many possible directions. You can have anything from solid colors that can range from bold, pastel, to earth tones. There are also two-toned chemises that have an array of color displays as well. What ever you decide to go with you can bet your will look fabulous and sexy.
The chemise has been around for centuries and even in its simplest design it was considered sexy. Now with the crimping of modern lingerie, chemises have been taken to a new level
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