Thank you to those who guessed what the recommended travel underclothing of the 1920s was for females. Guesses included cotton, rayon, linen, and silk.
Last night I posted and tweeted a response on Facebook and Twitter, but in case you don’t follow me there I’m putting it here as well, but with a bit of extra info!
So, what was the recommended underwear for travel? Likely a wool or wool blend. Doesn’t seem all that nice to me, but prolific travel writer Frank E. Brimmer wrote that “silk stockings and cotton underwear…have spoiled almost as many vacations as make-shift (and worse) camp beds.” My guess is that cotton didn’t dry or breathe as well as cotton, kind of the same reason why it is recommended we wear wool socks in the winter (I usually don’t, I don’t even know if I own wool socks, so I can’t say I’ve tried it out).
In “Discovering America in a Flivver,” Frederic F. Van de Water, a popular author and humorist at that time, wrote that for the five-week trip with his wife and son, his wife packed “three changes of underclothing” (no material mentioned), and “four pairs of wool stockings.” Wool stockings were a must, but one was also expected to have silk pairs too for when they found themselves in “nicer” settings, but more on that in an upcoming post.