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- 1940's

We're moving right along on our monthly mini-series Lingerie By Decade! This month is the 1940s. In case you're behind, read up on the 1920's and 1930s in my past posts. 


I'm not going to lie, I've been tempted to sit on a curb and fix my stockings too! In the 1940's stockings are a big deal. However, they are hard to come by and afford with war time rationing. Pantyhose or tights are not invented until the 1960's so women are still using suspender belts or clips attached to girdles to hold their stockings up. More and more women are in the work force during war time, and suits are becoming more common. As is the trend of separates (bras and tap pants) and rubberized shape wear that started in the late 1930's. 


If women ran out of stockings, they painted them on. "Liquid stockings" start to line the shelves and make-up aisles. 


Three piece sets were very popular in the 1940's. To give women more freedom garter or suspender belts come into fashion. Worn over tap pants and with a bra. Your slip would cover all of that.


Girdles are also a staple. With more and more rubberized fabrics hitting the market, these will keep your shape! Attached with stocking clips, of course! 


The soft rounder shape of the bra cup in the 1930's becomes much pointier in the 1940s. The bullet bra is invented with circular stitched cone shape cups. To provide lift as well as projection, the cup has many seams. This look will continue on in the 1950's and early 60's. 


Above is a 1940s Jantzen Whirlpool stitched bullet bra that sold recently from my shop. I'm always on the hunt for these! 


And finally, I leave you with some glamour. 1940's films and film noir have some of the best fashion. Long gowns and peignoirs fill the boudoir scenes. This may not have been the average lady's look, but it sure inspired all to dream and stay gorgeous during a difficult time! Veronica Lake above. Rita Hayworth below.


This concludes our history of 1940's lingerie. Stay tuned for next month's installment- the 1950s! Afraid to miss out? Sign up for my monthly newsletter or follow on bloglovin'