Monthly Archives: December 2014

Recreating the Silhouettes of the 1950s by The Nylon Swish

As brands such as Pinup Girl Clothing, Trashy Diva and Bernie Dexter grow in popularity, more and more women around the world are embracing the elegant designs of the 1950s. One of the aspects of vintage fashion that sometimes gets overlooked is underwear, however without the right shapewear it is not always possible to make the most of your vintage threads. I have made some suggestions on how to achieve three of the most iconic silhouettes from the 1950s.

Full skirts and nipped waists

One of the most popular items of clothing worn by women who are inspired by vintage fashions is the circle skirt. Generally made from a full circle of fabric, these skirts look very full (especially if worn with a petticoat) which accentuates a women’s waist and often make it appear smaller.


Photo by Lisa Larsen, 1952

Women have previously spent a lot of time trying to achieve the perfect nipped waist to further accentuate the silhouette created by full skirts, they wore corsets, steel boned girdles waist cinchers and other similar garments to help pull them in. If you love wearing circle or swing skirts and want to emulate the nipped waists of the women from around the 1950s, here are some items of shapewear that can help you achieve this silhouette:

1. One of the best ways that you can achieve a nipped waist is by taking advantage of the strong elasticated bands on shapewear, for example, pairing this Rago 1359 with a 2202 longline bra and ensuring that there is some overlap from both garments will mean that the elasticated bands will pull your waist in twice as much.


Rago Style 2202


Rago Stye 1359

2. Another great way of minimizing the size of your waist is to wear cinchers, these items are elasticated and very comfortable.

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What Katie Did Glamour Waist Cincher


Rago Style 2107

3. If you’re feeling hardcore, you can opt for a corset to guarantee maximum waist cinching results. In this situation, I would recommend wasp corsets as they are short and will not compromise physical movement in any way. The added benefit of a corset is that you can wear it over your clothes as outerwear as well as underwear. Orchard Corset make fun and affordable corsets in many different styles and colours.


Orchard Corset Steel Boned Wasp Corset


Orchard Corset Steel Boned Wasp Corset

Body Contouring Clothes


(Photo by Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

If you prefer a more understated look and tend to opt for pencil style skirts and tight-fitting tops, you will know that it is essential to choose the right underwear to create a smooth figure and avoid VPLs and bra bulges on your back. Some essentials that will help smooth you out are:

1. Longline bras – The long band of fabric reaching down to the stomach will help prevent bulges under and above the bra strap.

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What Katie Did Cabaret Bustier

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What Katie Did Kate Longline Cone Bra

2. Longline girdles – Both open bottom girdles and panty girdles are great to smooth out problem areas but longlines add even more support.


Rago Style 1294

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Kiss Me Deadly Jacquotte Longline Girdle

3. All in one foundations – Corselettes and one piece items will provide ultimate support and leave you lump and bump free.


Rago Style 9071

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Revival Lingerie Polka Dot Corselette

Bullet Boobs

7b6aaffd6771acb46220ef0ead35c190Neither underwired bras nor moulded cups existed in the 1950s, women therefore wore non-wired bras which were constructed very differently to the bras on the market today; these bras caused women’s breasts to be a pointy or ‘bullet’ shape. Depending on how brave you’re feeling, there are different levels of point that you can achieve:

1. Mild point – This is the least extreme version of the bullet bra, so if you want to ease your way into a pointier shape, I would recommend this model.

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What Katie Did Cone Bra

2. Medium point – This bra is not padded so depending on the material that your top or dress is made of, the bra will appear more or less pointed.

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What Katie Did Maitresse Bullet Bra

3. Extreme point – This bra is padded and has been designed to create an a very distinctive point.

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What Katie Did Padded Bra

I hope this helps you to finish off your vintage looks!



Twitter: @TheNylonSwish

Categories: All Posts, Guest Vixens, Vintage Shapewear | 4 Comments

Let it Snow!

Last week we began our Collectif Winter Outerwear two part series to help you find the best wintertime essentials to keep you looking stylish and cozy warm. Of course, I couldn’t resist saving the pièce de résistance for the grand finally! This gem has California gals dreaming of snow and wishing they lived somewhere cold just so they can justify owning the drop dead gorgeous Pearl Coat! Now you all will be wishing for winter in order to get your hands on this exquisiteness.

Available in sizes UK6-22 in Beige & Forest Green ~ MSRP £185

IMG_4275In the first part of our series, we discussed that it was crucial to allow ample room for layering and ensure the shoulders sit properly to establish a good fit with all winter outerwear. To my surprise, the Pearl coat fit quite differently than the Rachel as it ran considerably smaller in both the shoulders and waist. Thankfully I have very narrow shoulders and the Small (size 10) JUST worked for me in the waist but there is very little room for layering. I would highly recommend sizing up if you have broad shoulders or find yourself in between sizes. Now let’s discuss the features that make Pearl truly exquisite. First and foremost, the luxurious fullness of the oversized faux fur collar, cuffs and skirt trim creates a timeless look while keeping you protected from the elements. With bust pleating and gathers at the waist to create dimension, along with a nipped in waist truly reminiscent of the 1950’s silhouettes. Made from 40-50% wool and fully lined, the Pearl is sure to keep you warm in those subzero degree temps. At 5ft 4inches tall, the length falls approximately at mid-calf.

IMG_4276 IMG_4297There are no words to adequately express how utterly PERFECT the Pearl Coat is, I don’t ever want to take it off! The Pearl emulates old Hollywood glam; Collectif captured the elements we love from the era and melded them into a functional piece that serves modern day ladies flawlessly. Yes, the price point is on the higher side but it is SO worth the investment as you’ll be cherishing this piece in your wardrobe for years to come. The collar fastens with three hidden hook closures and is so soft on the face, there’s no need to add a scarf. Thankfully the sleeve length is seamless and I don’t struggle with the overall length despite me being rather short in height. The only small challenge that I find is keeping small pieces of lint from collecting on the exterior shell as the wool fabric is a real magnet but then again, that might just be my OCD tendencies coming out a little.

IMG_4292The great thing about fabulous outerwear, there is very little need to accessorize as the details in the design are what you want to stand out above the rest. I simply chose to pair basic black leather boots and driving gloves with the Pearl and I’m ready to brace the elements. Also, there’s plenty of room in the skirt pleating to allow for full coverage wearing a petticoat, as seen in the photos.

IMG_4300 IMG_4301It is quite exceptional that a particular design has captured the hearts of so many as the Pearl Coat has truly taken all of us vintage/pinup fashionistas by storm. They are flying off the shelves everywhere but luckily Collectif just restocked them in all sizes. Make sure to snatch one up now as they are sure to sell out again & you might not get another chance this season! Luckily for all of you, there’s currently a 20% off coupon code VLXMAS available and valid until 12/31/2014. 🙂

Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

There is no hiding from it…winter has arrived early and is sadly not going anywhere for the next 4-5 months. Now the question is how to stay warm and still look fashionable in the cold snowy weather? This season, Collectif has stepped out in the forefront of winter outerwear by designing stylish yet functional coats for the coldest of climates. Living in Canada, I know it is essential to seek out coats that have a considerable percentage of wool to ensure it will hold up in those subzero temps. In this two part feature, I will review both the Collectif Rachel Coat and Pearl Coat to provide all the particulars on these gorgeous fundamentals in order to help you be cozy warm this season.

Available in sizes UK6-22 ~ MSRP £189.50

IMG_4256For those of you who may not be accustomed to outerwear shopping, it is essential to ensure there are plenty of room in the shoulders and a little extra space for layers. On the flip side, you do not want the coat to be too wide on the shoulders as this will look quite sloppy. In Collectif sizing, I am generally a size Small (UK10) and I was mindful to follow the sites recommendation that the Rachel Coat runs true to size. Thanks to the helpful feedback from many of my readers, I picked the Rachel Coat in grey houndstooth over the pink check. This was the perfect choice as I am truly delighted with the houndstooth print since it’s such a great everyday staple and pairs beautifully with everything. The Rachel is a classic styled double breasted coat with swing skirt featuring glorious faux chinchilla fur accents, a quilted lining and matching belt to cinch your waist. The outer shell is made from 40% wool 60 % polyester, sure to keep you quite toasty on those blistering cold days.

IMG_4260As soon as my order arrived, I knew the Rachel Coat was going to be fabulous for our cold winter as the substantial weight is very telling of its construction. Normally my key concern with long style coats is that they will be at my ankles being only 5ft 4inches tall but luckily the Rachel falls perfectly mid-calf. There is plenty of room for me to layer underneath and the shoulders were spot on even though mine are quite narrow. The full skirt works wonderfully over circle skirts and full crinolines, as seen in my photos. The faux fur trim is lush and doubles as a built in scarf when fastened for a snug fit to keep the cold wind out. I am a big fan of the tie belt, I find this helps regulate your body temperature and prevents the cold air from entering. The wool exterior kept me toasty warm during our outdoor shoot, the only thing I was missing was my gloves.

IMG_4261 IMG_4265When it comes to accessorizing, the houndstooth print is versatile to coordinate with what you already have in your closet. Gloves in just about any colours would be a lovely accent, paired with black leather boots to repel the snow.

IMG_4252There is no doubt in my mind the Rachel Coat will keep you cozy this winter season…and looking very stylish I might add. Although it is a bit on the pricey side, the Rachel Coat is well worth the investment as it will be a piece that you’ll wear for years to come and never go out of style. Stay tuned for part two featuring the Collectif Pearl Coat…

Categories: All Posts, Clothing | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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