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The Raupp Museum Online Database


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Petticoats were a part of women's undergarments. Petticoats were worn around the waist, with some being made to be worn from the shoulders as well. Petticoats have been around in some form or another since the 14th century. In the 19th century, when people were moving to Buffalo Grove, petticoats were still in fashion. They were worn for both warmth but also to give the dress or skirt a specific shape. The petticoat on the left was worn by a Buffalo Grove resident in the early 1900s.

Pictured below is a child's underskirt - essentially a petticoat for a baby. This underskirt was worn by a boy baby in 1878 in Buffalo Grove.

(The petticoat on the left is discolored. This could be due to oxidation in the fabric (turns brown over time when exposed to oxygen), from wear, or a washing error before being donated to the museum.) 


Union Suits

Union suits were commonly worn by men in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Originally invented for women, union suits were meant to be practical alternatives to Victorian clothing. Men became fans of union suits and adopted to wear them. They quickly became a man's undergarment in the late 1800s and early 1900s, worn especially during the winter months. 

The union suit below was worn by a man during the 1930s and 1940s, although men in Buffalo Grove would have been wearing union suits since the late 1800s. Union suits were worn throughout the 1940s, and eventually were replaced by long-johns. 

Children wore union suits as well, both girls and boys. Pictured on the left is a girl's union suit from the 1920s. 


Male Union Suit, C. 1930