|Dress, 1803-1805. Munchner Stadtmuseum|
Soft, airy, thin, muslin gowns from the beginning of 19th century. Loved by some, hated by others, still not the best ones to show off your figure. Nor now, nor then. So, what did the clever women of the early 1800s did? They put it on the wet body. Fabric sticks to you (undergarments are so overrated aren't they), you look amazing. What could possibly go wrong...
|Dress, c.1800-1805. MET|
Oh, nothing. Not unless you were wearing a wet dress. On a cold day. Or during winter months. Without proper underwear. Or any outerwear.
|Dress, c.1803-1805. Bath Fashion Museum|
The famous "muslin disease", because that's what we talking about today, was flu. The name was used first after the epidemics of infuenza in 1803 in Paris. This fashion is also believed to be the reason of the pneumonia epidemics shortly after that, which seems to be very logical (as it's a possible complication after untreated flu) conclusion to draw.
|Dress, 1803. MET|