At the recent Romance Writers of America (RWA) convention in New York, author Deeanne Gist gave a hands-on, clothes-on workshop on how to dress - and undress - your heroine.
According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, it took Gist an hour to put on everything that a lady would have worn in the 1860s. The pieces of clothing included stockings, garters, bloomers, chemise, corset, crinoline or hoop skirt, petticoats, a shirtwaist or blouse, skirt, vest and bolero jacket.
The Journal reports that 25 percent of all books sold are historical romances, according to book-industry analyst Bowker.
But getting accurate details on a lady's under-things takes a lot of work.
"When you're doing something where they're undressing in a love scene situation—these are the practical things that you never find in a research book," bestselling novelist Laura Lee Guhrke tells the Journal. "You want to be accurate."
Check out the video above for a close-up look at a Victorian lady's unmentionables.