Just a big pair of knickers from Floslingerie
What gives you the best silhouette under your vintage clothes?
Spandex, Elastane and Lycra……are all basically the same synthetic fibre, developed by DuPont in the very late 1950s and early 1960s. Up to the 1960s, the girdle or corset was a very restrictive garment, generally worn from under the bust to the top or mid thighs and consisting of unyielding layers of stiff fabric with channels of “boning”, often metal, and complex lacing or buckles and straps to shape and hold the body. The girdle or corset also had sets of suspenders to hold up ladies stockings and was open bottomed, i.e. put on an worn like a very wide belt. The earliest Victorian and Edwardian laced up garments needed an extra pair of hands to tighten and do up the laces. They would have been worn over a cotton chemise or combination garment, one of several layers of undergarments. Later versions from the 1930s and 1940s had long lines of hook and eye fastenings. So, when Lycra came on the scene in the early 1960s, it was liberating! Two new sorts of girdles became available, the roll- on, an open bottomed pull on garment with no boning or fastenings, usually with neat elasticated suspenders, often detachable, and the pantie girdle. The pantie girdle combined knickers and girdle as one, and again, often, but not always, had detachable suspenders. The pantie girdle became the preferred control garment as it created a smooth body shape, perfect under popular clothing styles such as the mini skirt and slim fitting trousers. Lycra is still used in many different types of shapewear, sportswear, swimwear and fashion garments. Occasionally, I come across old shop stock, and it is always good to be able to offer these for sale at Floslingerie. Right now I have pantie girdles and control briefs in Small, Medium and Large, in white and in black. I also have a stock of Mary Quant body stockings from the 1980s….but that’s another story!
It is worth noting that when you wear vintage you may notice that the fit of your vintage clothes is quite different to modern garments. The average body shape has changed dramatically over the last fifty years, with women becoming both taller and wider! You may notice that a vintage item from the 60s, for example, could be labelled as a 10, but fits like a 6 ! Often, waists are smaller, busts and hips cut for more curves. When you buy vintage, check the measurements will suit your body shape. If you are buying on-line, check the measurements against something from your wardrobe that fits you well.
Vintage fabrics hang differently to modern fabrics. When you are planning your outfit, think about how the fabric drapes or clings. Is it bias cut? Is it a stiff fabric like taffeta, or is it a soft pile like cotton velvet? Choose your undergarments to enhance the look of your vintage outfit. Modern shapewear is pretty good….but if you can find lingerie from the same era as your outfit you will carry yourself with more confidence, knowing that you have created the perfect silhouette!