A form of leggings or long drawers, pantalettes originated in France in the early 19th century, and quickly spread to Britain and the United States. Pantalettes could be one-piece or two separate garments, one for each leg, attached at the waist with buttons or laces. They were most often of white linen fabric and could be decorated with tucks, lace, cutwork or broderie anglaise.
Ankle-length pantalettes for women were worn under the crinoline and hoop skirt to ensure that the legs were modestly covered. Pantalettes for children and young girls were mid-calf to ankle-length and were intended to show under their shorter skirts.
- C. Willett Cunnington & Phillis Cunnington, The History of Underclothes 1951, Dover (ISBN 0-486-27124-2)
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