Explore

Stomacher

Stomacher

Stomacher

Early 18th Century

Stomachers were flat, roughly triangular pieces of fabric that were pinned or sewn over the stays to cover the area exposed by the centre front openings of the bodices of 18th Century gowns. Loose informal gowns, held in at the waist but otherwise open above and below were worn by women as comfortable alternatives to more rigid dresses from the 1660s; the centre front bodice openings, covered by stomachers, and skirt openings, revealing petticoats (underskirts) remained as vestiges until fashion moved on in the closing decades of the 18th Century. Both stomachers and petticoats were subject to current fashions, discreetly matching the gowns with which they were worn, or providing contrast and decoration.