1940s · 1950s · body confidence · vintage fashion · vintage underwear

U is for Under Garments: the A-Z of a Vintage Girl in a Modern World

Underwear, undergarments, foundation wear, that uncomfortable stuff under your outfit…call it what you will, it can be a pretty important part of dressing vintage.

It doesn’t have to be, of course, but for me, wearing something vintage-inspired underneath my dresses makes my outfits feel a little bit more special.

In the run up to our wedding, I took my first trip to What Katie Did‘s London boutique with one of my bridesmaids, and it was pretty special. I bought a bespoke corset that had TARDIS blue boning, because I wanted it to fit with the theme of the wedding, and I adore it and the shape it gives me. While I’m pretty happy with my body as it is (it does all the things I need it to, except reach tall things, and I married The Boy, who’s a good foot taller than I am, so that’s that problem sorted), wearing a corset does give me a little bit extra body confidence.

A proper corset with steel boning, it really pulls my waist in to give a nice curve, which I like as it fits with my 1950s style dresses, which have nipped in waists and full skirts. And, just to debunk a few quick myths:

Yes, I can still breathe in it (and talk, and dance, and sing! Although people don’t seem so keen on me doing the last one)

No, it’s not crushing my internal organs

Yes, I can still eat when wearing it

Carrie-Ann and Chris - 0090
Photo by Lina and Tom

I also bought a 1950s-style bra, which I didn’t end up wearing because you could see the straps through my wedding dress, but it now gets regular wear when I go to meets and the like.

And then, of course, there are the petticoats, of which I have lots (I’ve just come back from a photoshoot, and was pretty shocked to discover when I was grabbing petticoats that I own three black ones. Three! Why do I need that many?!), and which I really love popping on under one of my dresses to jazz it up.

My favourite ever petticoat reaction has to be one of my friend’s daughters, who had been told she’d be visiting while I was wearing one of my ‘big dresses’. Unfortunately, by the time she arrived, I’d taken my petticoat off, and her little face dropped when she saw. So, I asked her if she wanted me to make the dress big again, and the look on her face when she realised it was a petticoat that makes the dress big, rather than the dress itself, was pretty special. And very cute.

Here are a few examples of me rocking my vintage-inspired smalls (which are actually pretty big. Giant knickers)…

I feel like this is a poorly represented section of my wardrobe, given how many dresses I own, so watch this space for more pants posts!





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