Monday, 7 February 2011

Lingerie

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As you may have noticed, my list of clothes to get doesn't include underwear. That doesn't mean that this delicate subject isn't mentioned at all, the good book has a few things to say about it. To begin with it bemoan that Swedish women care less about their underwear compared to the rest of Scandinavia and should learn from them to use "bembergsiden", artificial silk or satin crepe instead of silk jersey. Corsets and bras should be well-fitting and don't compress the body too much. The best is a corselet, but make sure that it's long enough, otherwise it will pull down the shoulders and breasts! But if you were slim enough, a bra doesn't seem to have been a must. As I mentioned earlier my grandmother didn't use a bra until she was 33 and had had a baby. She was a very proper person, so she would never have done that if it hadn't been all right. Slips are not just to make sure that you can't see through a skirt in bright light, but also to give the clothes shape.
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It is the stockings that get the most attention, though. No doubt due to the war, nylon wasn't to be had in Sweden in 1944. Silk and artificial silk are compared and silk are considered to hold up better. And they should get washed after every use! Artificial silk too, but they should be washed as soon as you take them off, or their shape will get hopeless. The thickness of the stockings are in threads, not denier. The less threads, the thinner the stocking. Consider the colour and check it out in the light it will be worn in, daylight or electric. Save money in buying several stockings in the same colour and thread count, so you you don't have to throw away a pair just because on stocking gets past mending. In cold weather a well dressed lady use wool stockings when outside, but remember to wash them after one or two uses and not in too hot water.
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And where should a modern girl find retro underwear. The obvious choice is probably What Katie Did. They have the L6036 CC09 bra which is based on 1940's lingerie as well as knickers and shape wear. They also have a good selection of stockings. I have been very pleased with my purchases, so I will probably turn to them for additional knickers and slips, but when it comes to bras I have a problem. I have an unusual size and have difficulties finding a well-fitting bra to begin with. Finding one with a more retro shape seems impossible. The above mentioned bra doesn't sport larger cups than D and even their spiral bra, which is 1950's anyway, doesn't go higher than F. So for now I will have to stick with my usual brands and try to find models that are classic. There is also Pom Pom Parlour, a Swedish retro shop that now has an international webshop. They have their own brand of stockings that are quite new. I haven't tried them on, but handled them and they seem to be good quality stockings.

Anyone know other places to go to for 1940's lingerie?

7 comments:

Chelsea said...

I have been searching high and low for this bra: http://www.pixxi.com/Genuine+Vintage.2/Dressing+Room.19/Basques+-+Bras.153/Vintage+1940%27s+Satin+Bra.528.html

I can't find a recreation of it ANYWHERE! There is on on e-bay, but the cup size is too large for me! :-(

Isis said...

It's gorgeous! And too small for me... :) I saw what you wrote about it- the seller wasn't exactly the best with words...

Casey said...

Don't know of any good places to find 40s style lingerie (outside of What Katie Did), but this post was so neat to read! I always like reading advice on things like undergarments from another era; considering the modern lady doesn't wear as much, sometimes the upkeep and caring for past-era pieces (like stockings) can be a bit of a head-scratcher. ;)

♥ Casey

Rowenna said...

You know...looking at pictures from the period...I wonder if they didn't have much selection for curvier ladies in terms of brassieres then, either. There's one point for now-a-days dressing (vs many point for back then!).

Evis said...

I think you're right Rowenna. When you look at adverts for what they nicely called "the Juno-esque figure" the main idea seems to be to flatten the bust and hold the flab in place, making you look rather barrel shaped.

I have given up on WKD bras for the sam reason as Isis. I have a 36 F and even those that actually go up to that cup size doesn't work too well - and I think it's no falult of WKD's, bu tthe fact that bras made in the period correct way weren't intended for such large breasts, since larger women didn't use them.

Since I'm not that devoted to period correctness when it comes to everyday clothing (unlike renaissance clothes)I compromise by wearing full cup bras with a slightly pointed shape. My current favourtie is Andorra at bravissimo.co.uk, but the classic Doreen from Triumph, which has had the same shape since the 50s also gives a nice shape.

Isis said...

Casey: I like to read such things too! Small things that you just don't know about now.

Rowenna and Evis: I think you are right. And thinking about it, photos of larger women from the forties often do look like there breasts are as low as nature intended them to be...

I'm not going without bra either! I haven't tried the Andorra- my favourite from Bravissimo is Freya. Perhaps I should branch out. :)

sheila olson said...

There is no doubt that women should be conscious about the clothing like stockings, corselet etc but they also should not ignore about undergarments as these clothings helps to keep the body in correct form as well as it protects from other outer harm.
womens underwear | ladies underwear | buy womens underwear

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