If you swoon over old movies and long for a little glamour, if you listen to Carl Porter and imagine yourself in 30’s Paris, then there’s a secret to make all your dreams come true……vintage intimates. There’s no rule that says you only need to look and feel good if you’re leaving the house. It’s fun and frivolous to get dolled up at home. Don’t ditch your t-shirts and pyjamas but try integrating a little vintage femininity into your loungewear collection. You never know, you might fall in love.
The bedjacket is one of life’s lost luxuries. It played a huge role in Hollywood in the 30s and 40s, covering actresses’ shoulders as they sat up in bed. A beautiful vintage bed jacket is classic and elegant. And so, go for something silk and cape-like. Nothing compares to silk on your skin. As always with vintage, look for the added details that set the garment apart like lace, embroidery and crochet. Before World War II, lingerie and nightwear were understated, fine and feminine, so keep colours neutral; peaches and cream, blush tones and white will ooze sophistication. Complete this look with a chaise longue and a cocktail.
During the war, luxurious undergarments were not the best use of resources and women usually just wore whatever they had spare to bed. Perhaps that’s why post-war intimates were so eccentric. By the time the 60s rolled around, women were wearing babydolls to bed; crafted to seduce and designed to demand attention. With this look you can have a little fun; feather trim and marabou fur are the mark of a real babydoll. You could also try an original peignoir set, with a sheer chiffon cover-up for a really authentic vintage look. In the 60s, women were finally taking control, they didn’t need to be sweet when they wanted to be sultry, so your babydoll can be playful and powerful. Look for pastel colourways; sky blue, lemon and mint green.
Totally versatile, a half slip can make a practical and stylish undergarment. But paired with a cute t-shirt or your favourite fuzzy jumper, a slip is a subtle way to incorporate intimates into your night time ensembles. Silk is the finest fabric for slips and will always make your skin feel good. As the silhouette is simple, you can make a statement with a print. For a 70s flower child look, go for bold, bright colours and floral prints. Play some records, jump on your bed and let your psychedelic slip take you away.
Bloomers were named after the women’s rights advocate Amelia Bloomer who in the mid-1800s promoted practicality in the dress standards for women. Bloomers bring you the best of both worlds; the comfort of pyjama bottoms, with the thrill of a frill. So if a bed jacket’s a bit too glamorous and a babydoll’s a little too revealing, then bloomers will give you a vintage fix without being over the top. The more traditional Victorian style goes to the knee and they’re usually cotton and neutral in colour. The later 20th century versions are shorter and a little more daring in powder pinks and deep sea blues. Lace, tiered frills and embroidered motifs look particularly cute on bloomers and ruffles work well too. If you’ve got things to do and you want something more practical, then bloomers are your new best friend. Of course, you can still wear them to day dream the day away too.
Article by: Lucinda Bunn
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