Back to the 50’s. – Although retro style hosiery & lingerie is now highly popular, the glamour of the 50’s has been lost.
In the modern world, retro style hosiery and lingerie is very popular and as all fashions seem to have a ‘cycle’, vintage underwear has come back with a bang. Envisage some of the advertisements and the display of provocative women dressed in 40’s and 50’s design modern lingerie on television and in magazines. Even so, the styles seen as an improvement of the 1950s do not capture the glamorous aspect of the ladies of the1950’s somehow. They always seemed immaculately dressed, had impeccable manners, and just looked so well groomed. Maybe I’ve just watched too many old films…..
So, can we claim that the era of preserving a lady’s modesty while bringing out an androgynous silhouette is over? There has no doubt been an improvement in style attributed to sophistication and a change in the material used to make undergarments; but today’s retro hosiery and lingerie styles bear an uncanny resemblance to those of the late 40’s & 50’s.
How the styles have been copied
Over time, the material used in making the hosiery and lingerie has become lighter leading to a change in the style. For example, a 1950’s bra was conical, giving support to the female form and exposing attractive curves. The need to bring back the lost glamour of those days has influenced fashion over the years leading to the creation of retro style stockings, shapewear such as girdles and waist chinchers, and suspender belts.
Most people do not consider women’s underwear and night clothes to be accessories, but in the 1940s and 1950s, lingerie was important in the creation of an attractive silhouette. The material used in making modern lingerie is mostly cotton which is softer; thus, easier to wash and better for hygiene. Even with a change in the material, the objective of the undergarments remains the same – to create an attractive figure. As such, the design is similar to that of the old classics with regards to pretty lace fabric that stretches and moulds the body. You have to agree that the modern day bikini panties are a copy of the briefs worn in the 1950s. Back then, pants reached the waist and were more like shorts, when cut lower they were called hip-huggers which women wear today – therefore, only the length has changed.
Retro lingerie is not complete without mentioning the copy of the pointed cone bras and the wonder bras introduced in the late 1950s. The wonder bra as we all know was styled to show cleavage and also accommodate larger breasts or even portray them as being larger than they actually are. The need to fit into the new wonder bra led to the invention of the fastener and extender which is a common feature in retro lingerie.
Hosiery has seen the reintroduction of 1940’s-50’s seamed nylons and stockings fully fashioned using soft materials (spandex), bobby socks (ankle socks) and sexy seamed fishnets. Modern fashion has seen the re-awakening of retro style modified suspender belts which serve as a fashion statement rather than just to perform the task of holding up a pair of stockings. Today’s belts are an imitation of the 1950’s glamour styles which are comfortable to wear, make the woman feel sexy, and have the same effect on men as they did back then in that they are fascinated by the curvy feminine look.
Girdles, roll-ons and were a staple part of a ladies wardrobes back in the day but although we can now choose whether or not to wear it, there is a lot to be said for today’s copies of the styles of the 50’s. Shapewear based on retro styles smooth other outer garments and helps conceal our problem areas brilliantly, but it is a personal choice as to whether you wear it or not.