Undersleeves were worn…well, underneath the sleeves of a dress and went from about wrist to elbow. Also known as engageantes, these sleeves emphasized a woman’s modesty and could be removed or changed. Usually white or off-white, the sleeves used either ties to attach to the gown or were kept on by an early form of elastic in the top casing. They were a necessary part of the mid-19th century wardrobe.
First image from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, remaining images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.