Lingerie By Decade- 1980's

This is it, the last post in my mini-series Lingerie By Decade. To top it off is the 1980's, one of the most excessive and expressive decades! 

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As we learned in the 1970's post, the decade leading into the 1980's women were asserting their feminism by either not wearing bras or wearing lingerie items that didn't show. Towards the end of the 1970's romanticism makes a comeback. Janet Reger, a British lingerie designer, leads the way and influences the return of garter belts, and ruffles. U.S brands, like Victoria's Secret is heavily influenced by Reger. 

Early 1980's Janet Reger

Early 1980's Janet Reger

1980's Victoria's Secret

1980's Victoria's Secret

Women take the strides made in the 1960's and 1970's feminist movements and enter the work force in larger numbers. However, underneath the power suits are soft ruffles, teddies with flounces on the hips, pastel hues, and lace. Feminine touches in a man's world is the theme. Having it all, reaching up, working your way up, yet still able to be girly and floral.

1980's Vanity Fair ad

1980's Vanity Fair ad

Quintessential lingerie looks from a 1980's sewing pattern

Quintessential lingerie looks from a 1980's sewing pattern

In the 1980's health and fitness also become part of the decade's vernacular. Fit and leggy become the standard all are trying to reach. Activewear and aerobics become popular and the sporty look is everywhere. 

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The French Cut- or high cut thigh lengthens the look of your legs

The French Cut- or high cut thigh lengthens the look of your legs

High cut and high hair. The 1980's also brought us video vixens and pop-icons that dared to wear lingerie on the outside. Inner wear as outer wear was shocking at the time but never really disappears to this day. 

Apollonia 6. Sleazy and soft. 

Apollonia 6. Sleazy and soft. 

Madonna- the Queen of lingerie statement dressing and the bustier.

Madonna- the Queen of lingerie statement dressing and the bustier.

Key things to look for when shopping for 1980's lingerie:

  • Bustiers
  • Lace, and silks in pastel hues
  • Teddies with flounced hems
  • French cut- high cut 
  • Designer lines: Janet Reger, La Perla, Vanity Fair

That concludes our Fashionable History mini-series Lingerie By Decade! Catch up on past decades here. Which decade is your favorite? I'd love to hear in the comment section below. 

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xo,

Karen 

Lingerie By Decade- 1970's

Here we go! We're moving right along on our mini-series; Lingerie By Decade. Click here to catch up on the evolution of underpinnings over the years. 

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By the end of the 1960's social activism, equal rights, and environment protection are on the forefront and in the news. With the feminist movement women are literally letting go of all that binds. The bra becomes a political message and it becomes clear that not wearing one can symbolize equality. Bras were burned and it became a big deal to assert your freedom. All of a sudden not wearing a bra is in style. This also coincides with a natural movement. Natural hair, natural colors, a softer look become fashionable as a result. 

Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin

Cool girls don't wear bras. T-shirts become popular and a natural look underneath is all the rage. The ultra-shaping pointy bras of the 1940's-1960's are out. Nipples are in. 

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If you need to wear a bra, don't worry! Manufacturers have thought of it all! 

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Due to softer jersey garments seamless undergarments become popular. The effect is to not look like you are wearing anything underneath. Flesh tones, while limited in shades, are popular. 

La Perla SS 1976

La Perla SS 1976

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Shapewear as we've known it so far becomes uncommon. Women are moving more and laced up and stiff rubbery shapewear is out of style and old fashioned. One piece bodysuits become popular and are a great alternative, especially underneath your jersey wrap dress.

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Pantyhose replaces stockings and garters. If you needed some shaping it is now built in to your hosiery with what we now call control top!

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Nightgowns and sleepwear follow suit. Long and lean. Languid and minimal. The frou-frou-ness of the 1960's is gives way to a more romantic look.

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It's interesting to note that while women are gaining more power, the look is softer and more yielding than in previous decades. Towards the end of the decade that starts to change as Janet Reger hits the scene in the UK. She brings back a decadence to lingerie with the notion that women can have both. Meaning a career in a man's world and be ultra-feminine. This will influence lingerie makers (like Victoria's Secret shown below) and bring us straight into the 1980's with the return of the 3 piece set. 

Victoria's Secret. Late 1970's. 

Victoria's Secret. Late 1970's. 

Stay tuned for next month's installment. The 1980's! 

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Cheers,

Karen