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.
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.
2. Another great way of minimizing the size of your waist is to wear cinchers, these items are elasticated and very comfortable.
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.
Body Contouring Clothes
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.
2. Longline girdles – Both open bottom girdles and panty girdles are great to smooth out problem areas but longlines add even more support.
3. All in one foundations – Corselettes and one piece items will provide ultimate support and leave you lump and bump free.
Neither 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.
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.
3. Extreme point – This bra is padded and has been designed to create an a very distinctive point.
I hope this helps you to finish off your vintage looks!