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Archive for ‘Lingerie’

I’m Dreaming Of A Rhinestone Christmas

By , 16 December, 2009, No Comment

What could be more impossibly impractical — and therefore more glamorous — than an incredible nightgown with rhinestones?!

Vintage Vanity Fair Nightgown With Rhinestones

Vintage Vanity Fair Nightgown With Rhinestones

I’d say that question was rhetorical… But since this beauty isn’t a stand alone piece (it may be a one of a kind now, due to age, but it wasn’t always so), there are additional goodies in the collection.

The gold embroidered label or tag tells you that this piece is from the Vanity Fair Conversation Pieces collection, circa mid-1950s — but you don’t really need that tag to tell you that, do you?

Gold Embroidered Vanity Fair Label

Gold Embroidered Vanity Fair Label

Vanity Fair’s elaborate and impractical lingerie creations, featuring rhinestones and gold lame, certainly tell you these are lingerie pieces one talked about — and probably showed off too. Not only bringing such fabulous lingerie pieces out of the shopping bag to show friends while the ladies lunched, but maybe by wearing it while entertaining and playing hostess too. Oh, the days when you didn’t fear unexpected company, but glamorously dressed-up for it, lounging about all dolled-up, hoping for it…

Vanity Fair Black & Gold Lame Nightgown From Conversaion Pieces Collection

Vanity Fair Black & Gold Lame Nightgown From Conversaion Pieces Collection

Christmas Red Lingerie That’s Suitable For Hostess Wear

By , 14 December, 2009, 1 Comment

One of the things I love most about vintage movies is all the entertaining ladies did while wearing what we’d call lingerie. Even while the Hollywood Code was in effect, it was just fine for a lady to entertain guests while wearing pajamas or nightgown — so long as she wore a peignoir or a dressing gown over her negligee. While many of us would not be so bold today, we can — and should — wear fine and festive lingerie around our families, right?

For starters, how about this stunning two-piece vintage Alfred Shaheen hostess set in red satin? Asian-inspired styling includes a mandarin collar, deep side vents, 3/4 length sleeves and high-waist pants — all to leave you sitting pretty!

Vintage Alfred Shaheen Red Satin Hostess Set

Vintage Alfred Shaheen Red Satin Hostess Set

When it comes to vintage nightgowns, one of my favorite brans is Olga. There’s just something about the sensual fit of a snug nylon Olga bodice that sets my heart to thumping… Hubby’s too. *wink* But this vintage Princess style nylon Olga gown is modest — and stunning — enough to wear in front of family.

Vintage Red Olga Nightgown

Vintage Red Olga Nightgown

This vintage Olga backless-style ballet-length nightgown has a matching shorty robe, which gives it a 40s-style peplum look.

1950s Olga Peignoir Set With Short Robe

1950s Olga Peignoir Set With Short Robe

Add some glamorous slippers, and you’re all set with these vintage hostess lounge-wear fashions!

PS Don’t forget to enter my home spa and “teddy bare” lingerie contests!

Be A Vintage Teddy Bare Contest

By , 11 December, 2009, 53 Comments

I’m super excited to bring you this next contest! Everyone wants to be a flapper, dress like a flapper, and one of the most iconic and practical staples of roaring 20’s fashions is the teddy: And all-in-one cami and panty lingerie piece which works well beneath suits by day and even better under the covers by night *wink*

Grace Bradley Wearing A Teddy & Decorating The Tree

Grace Bradley Wearing A Teddy & Decorating The Tree

But because flapper fashions were made for young women, such pretty things were built on a rather straight and narrow design, making finding an authentic roaring 20’s flapper teddy in a size to fit an average woman today difficult. And if you’ve got curves (be it just a bountiful bustline or are an all-over Rubenesque, full-figured BBW) you’ll find yourself saying — in your best Italian accent — “Forget about it!”

However the folks at Hips & Curves let all curvy women live the dream with their vintage styled teddy:

Reminiscent of the 20’s this vintage style teddy has a beautiful V front with 2 rows of lace at the top and matching lace detail around the leg. This charmeuse teddy is available in sizes 1x – 4x with a tie back and snap crotch for a good fit. The beautiful quality of this garment makes it an excellent value and something you will treasure time and again.

Plus Size Vintage Style Teddy Lingerie Set From Hips & Curves

Plus Size Vintage Style Teddy Lingerie Set From Hips & Curves

Check out the size chart; see how well these will work for the bigger busted ladies as well as the full-figured?

Hips & Curves Size Chart: 1X though 4X

Hips & Curves Size Chart: 1X though 4X

(Note: Hips & Curves carries sizes larger than 6X; but the teddy is only available, as listed, in sizes 1X – 4 X, so I’m only showing those measurements from their size chart.)

And the most awesome part? I’m giving away a free Hips & Curves plus size teddy!

Pure Vintage Glamour With Vintage Styled Teddy From Hips & Curves

Pure Vintage Glamour With Vintage Styled Teddy From Hips & Curves

To enter, just make a comment, telling me which of the four colors you’d get if you won.

And you can get an additional entry if, after you post your comment, you also Twitter the following: Thanks @JaynieVanRoe & @hipsandcurves for the chance to win! http://bit.ly/8HxsxI

(You can also follow us: @JaynieVanRoe and @hipsandcurves!)

Contest is open to residents in the US and Canada. Entries must be received before December 16, 2009 (so that’s 11:59 PM, Central Time).

Here’s Looking Like You, Kid!

Get Out Of Bed — But Keep The Jacket!

By , 4 December, 2009, 1 Comment

Some of the easiest to find (and least expensive) vintage lingerie pieces are bed jackets. Once worn over a nightie while reading in bed or as part of your hostess attire, bed jackets haven’t been popular in quite some time…

Vintage Knit Bed Jacket, 1940s

Vintage Knit Bed Jacket, 1940s

But it’s a pity, because a pretty bed jacket not only solves the same problem of keeping your bare party frock shoulders warm, but it can take a more casual dress — or a simple slip — and really glam it up!

Vintage 1930's Cropped Trapeze Satin Bed Jacket

Vintage 1930's Cropped Trapeze Satin Bed Jacket

Do you prefer slick n’ chic? Fluffy n’ girlie? Romantic n’ feminine? Why not one of each? *wink*

Vintage Peach Celanese Rayon Bed Jacket

Vintage Peach Celanese Rayon Bed Jacket

Quilted Monotone Peach Vintage Bed Jacket With Stylized Applique

Quilted Monotone Peach Vintage Bed Jacket With Stylized Applique

In fact, whether silk or satin, chiffon or velvet, knit or crochet, vintage bed jackets can often out-do a bolero for style and glamour.

Vintage Knit & Crochet Bed Jacket Pattern

Vintage Knit & Crochet Bed Jacket Pattern

How To Determine Vintage Stocking Size

By , 13 November, 2009, No Comment

Vintage stockings, original non-stretching nylon stockings, are sold by two measurements: foot size and leg length. But what if the stocking’s size markings, usually printed on the stocking welt (the top, where you attach the garters), aren’t legible or missing entirely? Well then you are going to have to measure the stockings themselves to determine their size.

Before we begin, please note the following:

In this case, “vintage stockings” refers to non-stretch nylon stockings which were made mainly from the 1940s through the 1960s, when Lycra and other stretch hosiery entered the market. Though 100% nylon stockings continued to be made, and its form of sizing continued to be used by some brands, the stretch hose limited the range of sizing to today’s more familiar ‘Small’, ‘Medium’, ‘Tall’ and ‘Queen’ — and the related A, B, C or D. (The extra give in these stretchier stockings and pantyhose literally allowed manufacturers to ‘lump’ women into fewer sizes, reducing cost and, we vintage fans feel, decreasing a more specific fit.)

Then, as today, there are variations in sizing by stocking brand — and sometimes within the same brand. The top brand names tend to be more consistent in their sizing (Hanes & Berkshire, for example, tend to be incredibly consistent), but even specific brand consistency may vary greatly from the sizing of other brands (stockings by Alberts, including the sub-brand of Araline, for example, measure an extra half inch in the foot and an extra inch longer in length too).

Since worn stockings will be a little larger (even freshly laundered ones), than unworn stockings, these sizing measurements work for unworn vintage stockings.

However generalized these sizing measurement tips are, you can get a pretty good idea of fit — especially if you compare the measurements to the measurements of your favorite fitting pair of worn vintage stockings!

How To Find The Size Of Vintage Stockings

In order to best measure the stocking, I recommend beginning by securing a tape measure to a table top, taping it down just like at the counters in fabric departments, so that you have both hands free to handle the stocking.

If you don’t have a measuring tape, get one; they’re cheap and you’ll use them over and over again. (I suggest you carry a tape measure with you when you visit estate sales, thrift stores, flea markets, etc. too — you can always ask for a literal hand with measuring!) Or, you can tape paper the length of the table, mark off your dimensions, and measure them later.

Once you have the measuring tape securely in place, you’re ready to get your measures. Since true stocking size is always determined by the foot measurement, we’ll begin there.

The industry standard for measuring the foot of a stocking is to measure from the tip of the toe to mid heel, however, most people are more comfortable defining the end of the heel rather than making a guesstimate of the middle of the heel, so I’ll be discussing measurements from the tip of the toe to the end of the heel. That said, that’s what you do.

Place the tip of the stocking toe at the top of your measuring tape and, holding it firmly in place, extend the stocking foot taut along the length of the tape measure. As you extend the stocking’s foot, keep it pulled taut — not stretched; apply just enough tension to remove the folds and wrinkles in the nylon. Measure the distance between the tip of the stocking’s toe to the end of the heel (the darker, reinforced area).

Just as with shoe sizes, a measurement of 10 inches does not equal a size 10 stocking — well, not quite, anyway. If your measurement was taken from the tip of the toe to mid-heel, then the number of inches does indeed give you the stocking’s foot size. (So if you’re comfortable with assessing the middle of a stocking’s heel, go for it!) But if you’ve measured the stocking from the tip of the toe to the end of the heel it’s still easy to get the size: subtract either ½ or ¾ an inch to obtain the true stocking size.

Which one? If your stocking is smaller, measures 9 ½ inches or less, subtract half an inch; if your stocking is larger, measures 10 inches or more, subtract ¾ inches. (Larger stockings have a larger heel reinforcement.)

To get stocking length, measure from the bottom of the heel to the top of the welt, using the tips above. The measurement you get is the size; no math necessary.

STOCKING

SIZE

STOCKING
LENGTH
SHORT MEDIUM LONG XL OPERA
8 1/2 28 1/2 29 31 33
9 29 30 1/2 32 33
9 1/2 29 1/2 31 33 35 37
10 30 32 34 36 38
10 1/2 31 32 1/2 34 1/2 36 1/2 39
11 33 35 37 39
11 1/2 33 1/2 35 1/2 37 1/2 40
12 40
13 40

What You Need To Know About Vintage Full Fashioned Stockings

By , 12 November, 2009, 16 Comments

After getting the following email from Crystal, I decided it was time to do another primer on buying and wearing vintage:

Hi Jaynie,

I have a question… After hearing that “vintage full fashioned stockings are the best!” I bought several pairs on eBay. They feel lovely, but after a few hours of sitting at work I find they are bagging around the knees and wrinkling at the ankles… Is that normal? Am I getting the wrong kind — too cheap of ones? Or am I buying the wrong size?

Thirteen Points To Know About Vintage Fully Fashioned Stockings

#1 ‘Full Fashioned’ or ‘Fully Fashioned’ stockings are easily recognized by the sexy seam that travels the length of the stocking and the famous ‘keyhole’ or ‘finishing loop’ at the back of the stocking welt (the top portion of the stocking, made with a heavier gauge of nylon which is doubled over and finished closed, were the garters are attached).

Vintage 'Star' Full Fashioned Seamed Stockings With Key Holes

Vintage 'Star' Full Fashioned Seamed Stockings With Key Holes

#2 Full Fashioned stockings are also called ‘flat knit’ stockings because they were knitted flat and shaped to fit the leg; flared at the thigh, and curved to fit the calf.

#3 This ‘knit to fit’ shaping was done by decreasing the number of stitches towards the ankle, dropping stitches much like hand knitting. This cast off stitching gives the stockings ‘fashioning marks’ — the little V’s on the back near the seams — and so explains their name.

#4 The stockings are then joined at the back on a looping machine by hand, creating the seam up the back. This is how black, contrasting, or other color nylon seams can be made.

Vintage Glamour Girl Fully Fashioned Stockings Ad

Vintage Glamour Girl Fully Fashioned Stockings Ad

#5 Generally speaking, the ‘knit to fit’ shape of a vintage Full Fashioned stocking favors a long slender leg; lengths are available.

#6 For those who have shall we say a curvier or more difficult leg proportion, look for ‘outsize’ vintage stockings which were made wider for larger legs. Fewer outsize stockings were made, which makes them more difficult to find (and pricier when you do find them); but the better proportion makes for a better fit and so they are worth the extra investment.

#7 Because vintage Full Fashioned stockings are 100% nylon and do not contain Lycra or stretch spandex, they will generally wrinkle (and even sag a bit at the knees) after a few hours of wear, requiring some adjustment in the ladies’ room. (The good news is that perhaps your face could use a bit more powder, your lips more color?)

Tiana Hunter Wearing Black Stockings

Tiana Hunter Wearing Black Stockings

(I think we can all agree there’s not a thing wrong with the lovely Tiana Hunter‘s legs, yet her stockings have that — to be expected — bit of wrinkle at her ankle. So don’t take it personally; nylon is not Lycra.)

#8 Once the stockings stretch, they’re stretched — until you wash them. Washing them frequently not only helps them regain their original shaping, but prevents damages. (Even the smallest grains of sweat & dirt can do a great deal of damage to such fine nylon yarn.)

#9 I recommend that you always wash hosiery by hand. Don’t even be tempted to trust those hosiery bags for vintage full fashioned stockings.

When it comes to fit, some ladies also consider the denier and/or gauge of the stocking:

#10 Denier an Italian unit of measure for the density of knitting yarn — it’s mathy, and really all you need to know is the basic principals here: The lighter the thread (the less number of deniers) the finer the weave; stockings knitted with a higher denier tend to be less sheer but more durable. So a 15 denier (15d) yarn is twice as fine and sheer as 30 denier (30d) yarn. And some women swear that a 30d fully fashioned stocking resists stretching (wrinkling) twice as well as a 15d stocking. Also note that the seams usually are less visible on low denier stockings.

#11 Gauge is an English unit of measure, equally mathy, which measures the number of needles in a 38-millimeter section of a knitting bed, so a 60 gauge (60g) knitting machine has 60 needles to a 38-mm section. What you need to remember here is that the more needles you have in a section (the larger the gauge number), the finer the needles are — and the tighter the weave will be. The two most common gauges of Fully Fashioned stockings were 51g and 60g; the 60g stocking will have a have smoother, denser look (and feel) — and the tighter weave will help the stocking keep its shape longer.

Vintage Taylor-Woods Ad Explaining Nylon Denier & Gauge

Vintage Taylor-Woods Ad Explaining Nylon Denier & Gauge

#12 If all else fails, check your size. Vintage stockings are sized differently than modern ones; Stocking Showcase has great sizing charts.

#13 When buying vintage stockings, check the stocking welt itself for the stocking size rather than trusting just the box. The box may be easier to read (much easier than the previously worn & washed stocking welt), but the box may no longer contain its original contents. Even when the stockings appear never to have been worn or are “new old store stock,” what lies inside may be quite different — sometimes the pairs don’t even match! So look them over carefully or ask the seller to check for you.

Come back soon for more on buying vintage stockings!

More Thursday Thirteen participants can be found here.

What’s Front & Center For Holiday Fashions With Vintage Style?

By , 29 October, 2009, No Comment

Ladies, if you’re trying to put your best bosom forward in vintage fashions this holiday season, it’s time to order your handcrafted, custom fit bullet bras from Cameo Intimates — like the dreamy Cameo Lace Dream Bullet Bra.

Pink Lace Over White Cameo Intimages Lace Dreams Bullet Bra & Garter Set

Pink Lace Over White Cameo Intimages Lace Dreams Bullet Bra & Garter Set

(Don’t forget to add the padded tips! Perhaps add the matching Cameo Lace Dream Garter too?)

Since each piece of the vintage-styled lingerie is hand made to order, it takes two to four weeks for your order to be made — plus the shipping time to get your order. So now’s the time to order so you can dress (and undress!) to impress this holiday season!

PS If you don’t see your size listed in the bra style you love, or want a different fabric or color — or even if you dream of special things, such as wider shoulder straps and/or special padded cups to even-out mismatched breasts — you can have Cameo make a custom creation for you too.

9 Lingerie Reasons To Get Thee A Little Black Dress

By , 22 October, 2009, 2 Comments

If these nine black vintage lingerie pieces don’t convince you that you really do need that quintessential little black cocktail dress, what on earth will?

1) A vintage black lace pinup bra — complete with centered red rosette.

Vintage Black Lace Pinup Bra

Vintage Black Lace Pinup Bra

2) Vintage vixens will love this black Lily Of France bustier with illusion lace and an incredibly deep plunging neckline.

1950's Lily Of France Black Illusion Lace Bustier

1950's Lily Of France Black Illusion Lace Bustier

3) This vintage French corset, from Star de Paris, is fully boned, has four adjustable garters, an elasticized back with hidden hook & eye closures, and is made of cashmere and nylon.

Vintage French Black Corset/Waist Cincher

Vintage French Black Corset/Waist Cincher

But don’t overlook the silk satin accents and the Chantilly lace. (I’m in love with the frilly hip lace!)

Close-Up Of Black Lace

Close-Up Of Black Lace

4) This sultry vintage nylon Movie Star full slip with a lush lace bodice and wide lace hem surely seduces — before you even put it on!

Vintage Black Movie Star Slip With Lace Bodice

Vintage Black Movie Star Slip With Lace Bodice

5) Slink around in this vintage black nylon Charmode full slip with a crystal pleated bust, lace details — and an very generous 4 1/2 inch crystal pleated hem.

Vintage Charmode Slip With Crystal Pleating

Vintage Charmode Slip With Crystal Pleating

6) This sheer 1950’s black panty girdle with garters has a lace covered control panel — but I think it may drive your partner out of control!

1950s Girdle Panties With Lace Panel & Garters

1950s Girdle Panties With Lace Panel & Garters

7) For sex kittens, a very sexy pair of sheer black vintage Movie Star panties with garters, accented with lace.

Sheer Black Vintage Moive Star Panties With Garters

Sheer Black Vintage Moive Star Panties With Garters

8) These beautiful vintage tap pants of black lace, likely from the 1980’s tap pant resurrection, feature a silky false fly front.

Retro Black Lace Tap Pants

Retro Black Lace Tap Pants

9) Last, but not least, another pair of sheer black vintage panties — this one stuns with rhinestones as well as lace trim.

Very Sheer Black Vintage Panties With Rhinestones & Lace

Very Sheer Black Vintage Panties With Rhinestones & Lace

The Allure Of Vintage Satin Slips & Gowns

By , 6 August, 2009, No Comment

I know whenever anyone sees such dreamy, creamy, vintage satin slips & gowns as this, you’re supposed to remember Jean Harlow…

1930's Miss Elaine Satin Slip

1930's Miss Elaine Satin Slip

No offense to Harlow, but I also like to think of Joan Crawford — in the 1930s, before the dreaded code, she was peddled in the mags as quite the vamp too.

Pre-Code Joan Crawford

Pre-Code Joan Crawford

If You Ever Wondered About The Names oF Vintage Lingerie Pieces…

By , 8 May, 2009, 38 Comments

I think we all know & recognize bras, panties, girdles, nightgowns, robes and slips, but some of the older pieces, which even our mothers likely didn’t have in her drawers or closet are very unfamiliar. So I’ve decided to scan these pages from a vintage lingerie catalog to help us identify other styles.

Before we get to the scans, I’d like to discuss what I know about the booklet.

The catalog is from the Dutchmaid Garment Company of Ephrata, PA, and though it has few pages, it has many lingerie styles shown with photos.
The catalog is not dated; I believe from the hairstyles, printing and the style of the pieces themselves, it dates to the 1930s. However, as use of the “PA” to designate Pennsylvania typically dates a piece to the 60’s, it is very possible that Dutchmaid, being a smaller company with a small line of lingerie and hosiery, simply made small changes to it’s promotional pieces, using them over several decades.

The catalog is small, just 16 pages, including covers, and measures 8 1/2 inches X just over 5 inches. It has a simple glue binding and, as you can see by the uneven “swoop” at the top, rather crudely cut. (I have cropped the scans to an even rectangle in all but the cover image, just for my own personal neatness — but the uneven cut exists on all pages.)

Vintage Dutchmaid Garment Company Catalog

Vintage Dutchmaid Garment Company Catalog

Vintage Dutchmaid Stockings

Vintage Dutchmaid Stockings

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie Vests & Tight-Knee Pantie (Pettipant)

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie Vests & Tight-Knee Pantie (Pettipant)

Vintage Dutchmaid Vests & Tigh-Knee Pantie

Vintage Dutchmaid Chemise (We'd Likely Call It A "Teddie") & Pantie

Vintage Dutchmaid Panties

Vintage Dutchmaid Panties

Vintage Dutchmaid Slips

Vintage Dutchmaid Slips

Vintage Dutchmaid Nightgowns

Vintage Dutchmaid Nightgowns

Vintage Dutchmaid Pajamas & Robe

Vintage Dutchmaid Pajamas & Robe

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie (Slip and Nightgown)

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie (Slip and Nightgown)

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie

Vintage Dutchmaid Lingerie