Saturday, 28 January 2012
Underneath it all- a few words about panties
After girdles and bras I think it’s time to talk a bit about underpants. Or panties, knickers, briefs, drawers- there’s a Swedish idiom that say that a beloved child has many names, and that’s seems to be true for the most intimate of all undergarments. It’s also a rather new one. Knickers have been worn under gowns earlier, but not until the 19th century it became more common. At the beginning of the 20th century, underpants were voluminous things that reached at least to the knees.
Perhaps not very sexy by today’s standards, but I have no doubt that this lady looked very risqué back then. She’s even smoking!
Being so wide it's sometimes hard to see if these are knickers or just a petticoat, but I think they are the former here.
When the skirts grow shorter, underpants grew shorter too. Through the 1920’s-1940’s they seem to have been cut basically the same, a boxer short style often in very sheer fabrics and decorated with lace.
1920's French silk knickers.
1930's black silk knickers, absolutely to die for.
I have two of my grandmother’s Greta’s cotton underpants from the late 30’s/early 40’s and they are extremely sheer and delicate, with lovely lace inserts.
There were also a more modest style around, “directoire knickers” that went down to the knees.
Though I admit that they don’t look so modest in this ad from 1910...
Underpants were also knitted and you can quite easily find knitting patterns from the 30’s and 40’s, usually with a matching vest or bra.
By the end of the 40’s underpants seems to become more fitted, especially after the war and fabrics when stretch and various man-made fibers became more common.
Underpants like these from the fifties can easily be found today, even if they nowadays have little sisters that are much, much briefer. If you excuse the pun.
Weekdays panties is obviously not a new invention.
(Picture sources: http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/search?q=underwear&page=6