Too Pretty to Hide - Chemise Review

Tuesday, 16 August 2016  |  Essili

Enter the search phrase "chemise - definition" into Google and the first result (at least today) is:

  • a dress hanging straight from the shoulders, popular in the 1920s.
  • a woman's loose-fitting undergarment or nightdress.
  • a priest's alb or surplice.

Since we do not sell dresses or clerical garments it is safe to say that the second definition applies to all the chemises sold at Essili. 

That simple one line definition encapsulates just how versatile a chemise is. It can be worn as a slip under a dress, to provide an extra layer for warmth or if the dress is possibly quite sheer a chemise can add an element of modesty and even extra detail and glamour if lace on the chemise can be partly seen though the semi opaque outer garment. The Jane Woolrich design below with its beautiful lace detailing at the bust would be perfecting for adding extra glamour to a plain semi sheer top or dress,

Silk Chemise - Jane Woolrich Design 3064


A chemise can also be a short nightdress and many of the more elaborate designs we have at Essili are best suited to that purpose and are definitely far too pretty to hide away as an undergarment. A good example of too pretty to hide is this recent new style from Jane Woolrich, which looks deceptively simple when viewed from the front:


Jane Woolrich Design 7862 Chemise


But spin around and reveal a lavishly detailed rear view with thin crossed ribbon lacing, gorgeous floral lace and tiers of ruffle frills in chiffon that would put a Flamenco dancer to shame!

Jane Woolrich Design Chemise model 7862

We have covered the origin of the chemise in an earlier blog post, so today has been about musing on how a modern woman might wear a chemise. It is probable that the most use would be in the bedroom because of the generally plain and often unisex styles that are necessary for day to day life.  Whether shopping at the supermarket, visiting a client or sitting at a desk today's woman is more likely to be wearing jeans or trousers of some kind. But if you do want to add some luxury and glamour either to your daytime wardrobe or for bedtime then a good place to start is with a luxury chemise.

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