Underwear Collection


MM 2


The Migration Museum's extensive costume collection features many items of underwear, mainly for women. The collection consists of everyday underwear as well as that worn for special occasions and medical treatment. The collection includes corsets, knickers, crinolines, combinations, stockings, camisoles, girdles, and petticoats. The strength of the collection is its 19th century garments; however, it also includes a selection of key pieces from the early to mid-20th century.

The majority of the Migration Museum's costume collection constitutes outerwear. However, its underwear collection is significant in that until recently underwear has generally not been considered to be as important a social statement as outerwear. Undergarments were also more likely to suffer from staining and wear and tear, traditionally making them less desirable for collection and display. [np] The underwear collection primarily constitutes garments for women and thus reflects historical attitudes towards women's bodies, such as restraint and control of movement, divisions between private and public lives, the influence of feminist movements, and concepts of health and body image. The collection also reflects fashion trends, especially those which required the body to be shaped to suit outer garments. The collection forms the basis of the Migration Museum's education program When Smalls Were Large, which explores these themes. [np] The Migration Museum is keen to expand the collection so that it is more representative not only of men and children, but also South Australia's cultural diversity.

A Migration Museum collection. Access to collection items held in Museum Stores is by appointment only.


Athletic supports; Bloomers; Bodysuits; Boxer shorts; Brassieres; Breast flatteners; Briefs; Bust improvers; Bustiers; Bustles; Camiknickers; Camisoles; Chemises; Clothing; Combinations; Corselets; Corset Laces; Hosiery; Corsets; Crinolines; Drawers (underpants); G-strings; Garters; Girdles; Jockstraps; Knickers; Underwear Components; Long johns; Maternity clothing; Panniers; Pantihose; Petticoats; Sanitary belts; Singlets; Stockings; Suspender belts; Suspenders; Tights; Menstrual products; Underbodices; Underpants; Underwear; Union suits

Bras; Clothing; Crinolines; Foundation garments; Singlets; Underwear

Costume; Fashion; Lingerie; South Australia; Underwear; Women


Migration Museum, South Australia

Coverage Spatial

South Australia; Australia

Coverage Temporal



Related Collections


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2011-03-22 15:02