When lace appeared in underwear
If the term underwear also includes shirts (both for men and women) and similar items (to be worn during the day or at night) lace appeared, always in garments belonging to the upper classes, between the 15th and 16th centuries, when this precious decoration replaced the lattughina (small decoration made of pleated cloth), which is worn around the neck and ruffled cuffs. On the contrary, if we talk about braghesse (loose breeches), pants, etc…., the matter gets a bit more complex, because the Church has often condemned these garments as frivolous or sinful and people have always been reluctant to mention them when talking about trousseaus. On the other hand it is not easy to see such garments in paintings and frescoes before the 18th century. Curious loose breeches with lace decoration (probably punto in aria stitch in air), a soldier is wearing over his hose, can be seen in a painting by Pedro Berreguete (about 1450 – about 1504): Autodafé presieduto da San Domenico (Auto-da-fé presided over by St. Dominic) now in Madrid at the Prado Museum. Underwear began to gain importance only in the mid-18th century which saw the triumph of impalpable and refined lace like Valenciennes, Malines, Binche, Lille (bobbin lace), Alençon, Argentan (needle) (see Room No. 7, dedicated to Madame de Pompadour), but it became really popular in the last quarter of the century with the diffusion of the trousseau in white.

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