Have you ever analyzed the time when lingerie was first invented and the way this industry evolved and has reached the place that it is in today? Lingerie has a deep lineage, and you are not an ardent fan, if you have never put on one or the other type of vintage lingerie. These old-school beauties are considered as an epitome of class and affluency, and are available majorly in high-end brands dealing in luxury lingerie, but every lingerie fan needs to have at least one of these beauties.
While the world is busy choosing sides between underwired and non-wired bras, we decided to walk on a different path. In this blog, let's analyze 10 vintage lingerie pieces that deserve a spot in every lingerie-hoarder’s wardrobe.
String Corsets (1700s)
In the 18th century, string or whalebone corsets were an essential in every woman’s wardrobe like bra and panty sets are for today’s women. They do not look anything like our regular lingerie, but were the only option available to women then. The sole reason for wearing this corset was to attain a thinner stillhouse, and they also gave a push-up bra effect to the chest.
S-Curve Corset (1800s)
These were considered luxury lingerie in the 20th Century. Affluent women invested in these corsets, and shopped for them as cautiously as they did with their outerwear apparels. This corset pushed the boobs forward and arched the chest in a way to highlight the hips. These corsets were extremely constricting and many women even died due to immense contractions, yet the beauty and demand of these Victorian corsets never faded.
Drawers with Closed Crotch (1910s)
Television, web series and movies have not only heavily impacted fashion in the current age, but is doing so since the Victorian era.
Topper, a 1937 black and white comedy show, introduced the closed-crotch drawers for women to the world. Before this, women wore open-crotch drawers and it did not reflect their sexual availability, but the closed ones were reserved only for men.
In this series, Billie Burke who plays the role of Mrs. Topper, a boring, predictable and sober wife is gifted a pair of lace closed-crotch underpants by her husband. This was a tombstone of fashion in the lingerie industry then.
Sheer Maxis (1900s)
Though sexy lingerie now has become a lounging option as well, back in the 19th Century there was only one sexy nightie option – sheer nightgowns. These nightgowns were long, and had lower backs and were a staple in every bridal trousseau. You can refer to it as luxury lingerie of those days, as these nightgowns were not meant only for enhancing the physical intimacy between a couple, but the length of the gowns reflected the affluence of the bride’s family.
As the ideal shape for women was changing from hourglass to straight and boyish, the lingerie worn underneath the outfits also had to change. Women felt the need for innerwear to be as sleek and invisible as possible. Long and short slips replaced tight corsets underneath dresses.
New Look (1950s)
This was a part of Christian Dior’s collection called ‘New Look’, and it focused on coats, dresses and skirts that had full skirts and resulted in an hourglass-like silhouette. The bust had an essential focus in this collection, and the bras were designed to push up the breasts, and were wired.
Pimp Advertisement (1950s)
These kinds of bra and panty sets were commonly worn by models in the lingerie advertisements around the mid-20th century. This was a loud and clear message stating, you bought these beauties to flaunt and not to hide them.
No-underwear Underwear (1960s)
Do you think the no-makeup makeup look is an invention by our generation? If yes, then you are kindly mistaken. The no-yes concept has been prevailing since the mid-20th century.
Designer Rudi Gerneich in 1965 with the lingerie brand Lily of France introduced a no-bra bra that was transparent and promoted the braless look. The bra did not provide much support and had no metal or wiring. This bra provided hardly any support and was available only in A and B cup sizes.
Victoria’s Secret (1977s)
Let’s talk about the epitome of lingerie brands, and undoubtedly a brand that is more class apart than every other lingerie brand in the world. The founders of Victoria’s Secret – Gaye and Roy Raymond in San Francisco, with their brand attempted in making sexy lingerie an everyday thing. Roy stated that the lingerie department then had only two variants, the regular section contained florals and plains, while the sexy bra and panty sets were curated from lace. Victoria’s Secret brought lace thongs in the reach of the middle-class women and were easily available in their nearby departmental stores.
This was the most loved sleepwear option in the 1980s. Moreover, classic lingerie that lost its charm in the mid-1960s, started gaining importance again. Also, women who joined the corporate world wore lacy lingerie underneath the menswear-like suits as a reminder of their femininity.
It is often said that no lingerie trend can ever go obsolete, it may rule the market at one time and have an average demand at some other, but it will be there.