Friday, November 26, 2010

1950's Underthings

What was going on under there?

A kind friend who knew I was interested in the history of fashion and costume, gave me a collection of Seventeen magazines from the 1950's, that she had kept since her teenage years. Thank you Briar, they are real treasures and I would like to feature some images from them here. What a wonderful era of fashion the 50's were. Dior's New Look, and the end of WWII, drew women back to domesticity, femininity, and sexuality. The look drew its inspiration in many ways from the 1850-60's in the Victorian era, and women were encouraged to look demure and passive.

And those tiny waists, what was going on under there?

This Featherlight-4-in-1 Flex-o-lette has boning inserted in the seams, making it quite similar in construction to the corsets of the Victorian era.

You could even purchase crinoline type petticoats, made modern and young with a new name - Hoop-la.

And massive frilled petticoats to hold the skirt out further, to make the waist look even smaller.

New fabrics were being developed, and women were no longer prepared to suffer discomfort and lack of movement to fetish their waistline.

Rubber was first transformed into a textile fabric in the 1930's and the first fabrics were known as Lastex.

Don't you love this image, we always want to have it all don't we. So my precious darlings now you have a little insight into how the 1950's women achieved those tiny waists and pencil slim figures. Come back soon and I will show more of the wonderful dresses from the little collection of Seventeen magazines that I have. There are a couple I would love to sew for myself, I might put those up soon and you could tell me what you think. Kiss kiss my darlings until next time.


  1. hahaa!!! Wow that's cool what an age to live in! I can't believe those granny underpants were ever cool lol

  2. *Shudder* Anyone who says that 50s corseletes were comfortable has never tried them on! Those things pinch! And you sweat, so they smell! I'll take a Victorian corset any day for comfort!

  3. Well thats interesting, and yet they were sold on the idea that they were more comfortable.

  4. Never thought of those fashions as making women look passive. Simply very pretty.