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"Underpinnings" refer to all the underwear and support garments that help to keep clothing clean (protection from sweat, body oil, etc.), supportive (bras, corsets), and correctly shaped (hoopskirts, petticoats).  As fashions changed through history, the undergarments were also redesigned and reshaped. It often took many layers (for both men and women) to get the final appearance of a well-dress member of society.

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What is a bumroll and why do I need one?
Bumrolls are stuffed or padded rolls worn around the waist.  They were used to help waist or cartridge pleating stand out from the body, helping to create the illusion of a smaller waist.  During the Elizabethan period, the bumroll also supported the farthingale enough to create the very pronounced horizontal line of the skirt waist.

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Bumroll will reshape a
skirt at the hipline.

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Cartridge Pleated Skirt
without Support

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Skirt supported with
bumroll only 

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Skirt supported with
bumroll and hoopskirt

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