The Modern Gal’s Trousseau

A friend of mine is getting married in June. Her mother and I, who happen to share a taste for 19th century chick lit (i.e., Anthony Trollope, Henry James and Edith Wharton), decided to resuscitate an old tradition for my friend’s bridal shower: the trousseau.

Trousseau-list

List of “under-linen” for the trousseau of a 19th century English bride, which in the author’s estimation “would form a liberal supply for a girl of the middle classes.” The Young Ladies’ Treasure Book, London, 1884.

Like the modern wedding registry, the bridal trousseau was a gift of material goods for use in married life. But the similarity ends with monogrammed bed and bath linens. Instead of All Clad pots and Kitchen Aid cake mixers, the trousseau consisted of items personal to the bride. For a well-to-do bride, this meant an entire wardrobe of new clothes, including new underwear. According to Godey’s Lady’s Book, the most widely circulated women’s magazine in mid-19th century America, a proper trousseau included 10 different day and evening dresses, cloaks, bonnets, jewelry, French scarves, Indian shawls, Spanish lace mantillas, morning robes, breakfast jackets, and “the many beautiful little articles of lingerie, which add so materially to the attractiveness of the toilette.” Typically, the bride’s family paid for her trousseau.

For our modern update on the trousseau, we gave my friend a set of lingerie and sleepwear essentials for her wedding, honeymoon, home and professional life. Splitting the cost among her mother and four bridesmaids, it came to $88 per person, plus tax. (Not too bad for NYC, but of course you can adjust up or down depending on the bridesmaids’ budget.)

1. A chemise that can do double-duty as romantic sleepwear and a slip under a skirt suit or dress.

Cross-Dye Antoinette Silky Skin Chemise

The Cross-Dye Antoinette Silky Skin Chemise is made from Hanky Panky’s exclusive ultra-lightweight microfiber filament rayon Lycra® spandex jersey and glides invisibly under clothing. Style No. 9N5991. $119 on hankypanky.com

 2. Dressy camisole is a go-to top on a honeymoon in a hot climate and the perfect underpinning for everyday suiting.

Signature Lace Applique Cami in Marshmallow. Style No. 484911. $59 on hankypanky.com.

Signature Lace Applique Cami in Marshmallow. Style No. 484911. $59 on hankypanky.com.

3. Who wants to worry about visible panty lines (VPL) on their Big Day?

BARE "Godiva" Hi-Rise Thong in Vanilla. Style No. 6J1921. $25. Available in a wide range of skin tones on hankypanky.com.

BARE “Godiva” Hi-Rise Thong in Vanilla. Style No. 6J1921. $25. Available in a wide range of skin tones on hankypanky.com.

4. Something blue.

Annabel Leg Garter. Style No. 48B111. $20 on hankypanky,com Also available in Plus.

Annabel Leg Garter. Style No. 48B111. $20 on hankypanky.com Also available in Plus.

5. The perfect match, now and forever (well, at least for a long time, if treated carefully).

Annabelle Bralette. Style No. 487251. $50 on hankypanky.com.

Annabelle Bralette. Style No. 487251. $50 on hankypanky.com.

Annabelle Boyshort. Style No. 481231. $36 on hankypanky.com.

Annabelle Boyshort. Style No. 481231. $36 on hankypanky.com. Also available in Plus.

6. Just for fun.

Hanky Panky's Signature Lace Teddy is crotchless and has a thong back. Style No. 488406. $69. Available in Tulip Pink and Black on hankypanky.com.

Hanky Panky’s Signature Lace Teddy is crotchless and has a thong back. Style No. 488406. $69. Available in Tulip Pink, Red and Black on hankypanky.com. Also available in Plus.

7. Sexy, beautiful, comfortable basics.

Low Rise Thong 3-Pack (Black, Chai & White). Style No. 49113PK. $60 on hankypanky.com.

Low Rise Thong 3-Pack (Black, Chai & White). Style No. 49113PK. $60 on hankypanky.com.

Clara

About Hanky Panky

In 1977, designer Gale Epstein created a hand-made lingerie set for her friend, Lida Orzeck, crafted out of embroidered handkerchiefs. The original designs were the inspiration for the company name, Hanky Panky. Blending traditional with modern glam looks, Hanky Panky is a fashion favorite of countless celebrities.
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