Lingerie By Decade- 1950's

I'm back on my blogging schedule after some major US election woes and computer issues. I'm not sure what the future will bring but it's always important to know your history. With that said, let's get started on this month's Fashionable History installment. In our Lingerie By Decade mini series, we are already at the 1950's. You can find previous decades here

The 1950's is post WWII with an emphasis on creating a family and being "happy". The hourglass figure is in- ultra feminine looks with nipped in waists. Women are either wearing full or fitted pencil skirts to emphasize their curves. Lingerie sales increase as women have a need to lift, nip in, and shape. Nylon is also more available and this makes lingerie not only more affordable but also more colorful as well. 

1950's Bras


The pointy cup is still in fashion after starting in the late 1940's. Bullet bras, cone bras, whirlpool bras are still selling. "Sweater Girls" are popular and no one wore this look better than Marilyn Monroe. 

1950's Panties


Tap pants are replaced by nylon panties with elastic at the waist and around the leg. High waisted full coverage panties look best under slim pencil skirts. Ruffled and more decorated versions are available to wear under full skirts and dresses. 

1950's Shapewear


Corselettes, or merry widows as they are starting to be known as, are still being worn as they were in the decade prior. However, the waist is even more nipped in. Two piece sets are also common, in the form of a bra and high waisted "waspie" girdle. This was not a time of comfort but cake is apparently okay if you wear the right under-garments.

The Petticoat


The fabric shortage and rationing of the 1940's is over and to make up for it, skirts and dresses are full. Full and frilly circle skirts take up a lot of yardage and to help give those skirts their shape, petticoats and crinolines are worn underneath. Some are soft and with many ruffles and layers, others are made from tulle and stiffer fabrics to aid in the poufy shape. This becomes a whole new item to add to your wardrobe that we haven't seen in ages. 

1950s Slips and Nightwear


Elizabeth Taylor in a Cat On a Hot Tin Roof sizzles in her white full slip above. Marilyn Monroe shows off her silk slip below. Worn over shape wear just like in the 1940s slips are not meant to be seen which made these images so alluring.


As mentioned before nylon fabrics are now fully integrated in lingerie manufacturing. With that comes more affordable color choices than previously available and more and more lingerie is sold. Variety in styles is also more evident when it comes to slips and nightwear to suit the individual style and age of the consumer. The modern age of lingerie is born. 

This concludes our history of 1950's lingerie. Stay tuned for next month's installment- the 1960s! Afraid to miss out? Sign up for my monthly newsletter or follow on bloglovin'



Lingerie By Decade- 1930's

This month we continue on our Lingerie By Decade mini-series, with the 1930's! You can catch up with our first installment, the 1920's, here. 


In the 1930's a ladylike feminine curve starts to come back in style as we start to move away from the boyish gamine figure of the 1920's. Round and pointier bust shapes along with natural waist curves are desired. A look of almost no undergarments has to come into play as glamour wear is all about the bias cut dresses in the slinkiest of satins. Undergarments are starting to be sold more and more in a retail setting. Rayons and stretchy rubber bring fine garments to the consumer. Even though the country is in a financial depression, the fashion conscious wants to escape and looks to Hollywood. Scandalous pre-code movies show young starlets in their underpinnings and are the best resource to see the styles worn back then. The title picture above is from the 1930 pre-code film Safety In Numbers, starring Carole Lombard, Josephine Dunn, and Kathryn Crawford.


The essentials. 1. Chemise 2. Soft wireless bra. 3. Tap pants. As shown in the 1931 film, Anabella's Affairs. Just like in the 1920's silk and rayon chemises are quite popular. Trimmed with lace and feminine details. Manufacturing during the 1930's expands and details become easier to come by and add to ready to wear. The modern idea of separates start to take shape then as well. The word brassiere is shortened to bra. Bras are convertible with low back options and start to come in A, B, C, or D cup sizes. Tap pants provide panty line free coverage. If you need some help with shaping rubberized smooth step-in girdles will help you out. 


The sex appeal of Jean Harlow and low back bias cut evening gowns is the height of glamour. Is she wearing anything under that dress? 


Finally, we love all the things! I love this ad as it shows all the styles! Long nightgowns that mimic those gorgeous gowns Jean wore are in fashion. A choice between a chemise or separates. Gloves, stockings! oh my! We do love such gifts! 


This concludes our history of 1930's lingerie. Stay tuned for next month's installment- the 1940s! Afraid to miss out? Sign up for my monthly newsletter or follow on bloglovin'