Have you ever wondered why that gorgeous little fifties dress never looks quite the same on you as it did on, say, Marilyn Monroe? The reason is a simple one: real vintage clothing for women was designed for women who wore proper foundation garments under those darling little dresses. That doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to wearing a constricting girdle if you want to look great in 1950s dresses, but a nod to the proper bra, slip and stockings will make a huge difference in your vintage style fashion.
The Down Under
Author +Gail Carriger is also a vintage clothing buff who maintains the blog Retro Rack: Vintage Style in a Modern World where she posts about her love for retro styles and vintage fashion. Among her earliest posts are a three-part series on proper foundation garments. One of the bet takeaways from her little instructional rant is this one:
Slips. Vintage dresses were designed to be worn over slips, and it’s not hard to find vintage slips, usually at the same shops where you find those adorable 50s dresses and other vintage fashion finds. Slips and petticoats are essential to getting vintage skirts to hang and fall properly on your body. A proper swing petticoat with tulle netting gives your skirt the right amount of pouf, while a delicious slinky chiffon slip will ensure that those slim dresses fall just the way they’re meant to, without showing your bra straps and panty lines. And of course, a swing petticoat also doubles as a very sexy little skirt number if you like showing off your naughties in public.
Check out some stunning #vintage lingerie and foundation garments pinned by +Ginny Huxford and vintage garter belts from IfiDiam for more ideas about what to wear under your vintage clothing finds.
What’s up Top UnderVintage Clothing?
Brittany blogs about plus-size vintage clothing at Va-Voom Vintage: A Modern Girl and Her Retro World. As a curvy girl, she has a superior understanding of the importance of proper foundation garments under your retro and vintage style dresses. In her own words:
A supportive bar helps to lift the breast and show off the waist, which gives an elongated look to the torso.
Brittany recommends structured vintage style bras for wear under rockabilly style vintage dresses because they give that “slightly pointy” silhouette the dresses were designed to suit.
The most important thing of all is to wear clothing that feels comfortable on you, and the proper undergarments can help you feel wonderful in your vintage clothing finds.