Inexpressibles…ha ha

Inexpressibles, what were they, you ask?  Very very tight, usually knitted of silk, trousers–almost like today’s women’s leggings, designed to show off a gentleman’s muscular legs to best advantage.  They were also known as bum-clingers and the term inexpressibles said it all–for what respectable woman could express that?

In colour, they tended to mirror that of a classical Greek statue–pale greys, pale ochres like sandstone or marble.  Because that was the whole idea of the thing, or the look, if you prefer.

The tight buckskin breeches, or inexpressibles of a pale colour, when worn with the tight waistcoat also of a pale colour were meant to create the impression–should one see the wearer without his coat–that you were viewing a naked Greek god or hero carved out of stone or marble with his enviable godlike physique.  Make no mistake, it was highly erotic.  And they meant it to be.

Then, depending upon how his crown jewels fell most comfortably, a gentleman’s breeches or inexpressibles were cut with extra room in one of the thighs, so that everything lay neatly (or not) down along the one side. Though given the fabric and cut of these garments there were very few secrets.

Another innovation of the inexpressibles, and this was added by Beau Brummell–to whom we also owe the fine practice of daily bathing–was a strap under the instep of the foot, which kept the trousers firmly down inside the boot.  He brought this in because cavalry breeches had had these straps for years–just as many breeches and jodhpurs still have–and he had been an officer in the cavalry.  So not just a pretty face, ha ha.

7 comments on “Inexpressibles…ha ha

  1. […] and the term inexpressibles said it all–for what respectable woman could express that?… Read the full article here. 0 Comments No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack […]

  2. Alice Gray says:

    Good Lord, Em! *fans self* You certainly have a way of expressing the inexpressible. Greek Gods, indeed…

  3. The ‘extra room in one of the thighs’ gives new meaning to ‘inside leg’ measurements. I would like to see men wear these ‘leggings’ once more.

  4. Oh…terribly wicked 😀 Snicker, snicker…

    • M M Bennetts says:

      And here was me thinking it was just a fact–“…there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

  5. […] wore perfect tailoring in subtle and dark colours–dark blue or dark green jackets with buff coloured breeches for daytime and for evening black breeches (later pantaloons) with a well-cut black or navy […]

  6. […]     Inexpressibles were men’s  very  form- fitting trousers. Little was left to the imagination, which […]

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