Rule number 1: when it comes to fashion, do not feel sorry for Granny. Judging by some of the fashions that were trailblazing their way through the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, whenever Granny grew up, she had some fabulous lingerie options at her disposal. Sparkling Strawberry may not have been the click of a mouse away (actually, let’s feel a little bit sorry for Granny), but ladies – and their significant others – were still longing to embrace their gorgeous selves. Don’t let Granny fool you – lingerie almost definitely played a part! So let’s take a whistle-stop tour through some of the decades where Granny first truly discovered her gorgeous self.
The 1920’s introduced a new way of looking at lingerie, where comfort and movement were the goal, and not restriction. Boyish figures came into fashion during this decade, with bras that strapped down ample bosoms and long corsets which straightened any curves. Flappers refused to wear corsets. If they were made to wear a corset before going to a dance, there was often a ‘corset check room’ where corsets could be removed. Cami-Knickers (also know as Step-In Chemises, Combinations and Rompers) became popular – perfect for underneath a 1920s beaded dress. With the need for structure going out of fashion, the colours and fabrics were able to shine through. Pretty pastel colours of lace and Rayon fabric were the go-to combination. In this decade the lingerie was to be as pretty as the outerwear. Slips were also popular and were worn underneath sheer dresses to reduce shadows.
Grannies of course come in all shapes and sizes and who knows what lovely frame Granny inhabited in her younger years. If she was a buxom lass, then she was bang on trend in the 1930s, which was all about celebrating the fuller figure. However, the emphasis was on the fuller figure with a lot of ‘form’ to it. Corsetry and girdles were all the rage, with posters promising to shrink inches off you with the help of very well structured lingerie. Lacy garter belts were popular possessions – along with the stockings that went with them. And if you thought sheer, nearly see-through material was only allowed past the censors in the last few decades, you’d be wrong. 1930s Granny could possibly have celebrated her wedding night in a corker of a sheer, silk chiffon baby doll nighty.
Dear Granny, may I introduce you to the bra? Because this was the decade where the corset really gave way to the one piece ‘brassiere with girdles and panties’ look. Look at Hollywood posters from the 1940s and it’s all about the steamy seductress. Of course Granny’s needs may have been a little more practical, but the brassiere will definitely have played its part. Granny didn’t have a cup size, by the way. Measurements were done in a different way then. If Granny was lucky enough to head out to a dance in the evening it’s likely the good old corset came out again and was worn under her dress. Long negligees were also popular during the 40s, with long soft, romantic fabrics. These were worn more for beauty than anything else! If your Granny got married during this decade she more than likely wore a silky nightgown and negligee on her wedding night!
We love that glamorous 50s look here at Sparkling Strawberry and if Granny was lucky enough to come of age in that decade, she no doubt loved it too. Bras branched out into different categories, including the bullet bra which were the focal point of many iconic Bettie Page or Marylin Monroe ensembles. Forget natural – by the 1950s ladies were boosting their assets with a range of ‘complimentary’ lingerie and there was definitely a fair bit of ‘lift’. Big hips, big boobs – Granny will tell you, they were popular looks. Oh, and do ask her about the inflatable bra – a very good idea until it went bang!
Welcome to the sexual revolution, – what a decade to come of age! A lot changed during these ten short years, with structure and form from the 1950s dominating the early 60s and an ‘anything goes’ attitude steaming in by the end. Pants and bra sets were advertised widely. Sassy ladies could still find structured corset and suspender combos to really show off their every curve. They could also opt for very natural looking bras and knickers with very little structure to them to suit those babydoll mini-dresses that became the must-have item in the middle of the decade.
Natural movement came into fashion not just with hair and colours but with lingerie also. Bras were out, nipples were in. Bras were burnt as a symbol of equality. If a bra was needed to be worn, the nipple bra was the only one to wear. Seamless undergarments were also popular now. These were to create the effect of not wearing anything underneath. Tights came into fashion, replacing stockings and garter belts, and if there was some shaping needed, then it was built into the top of your tights.
Lingerie was worn to match the fashion. For Disco, the bras had to reveal as much of the body as the skimpy, flashy dresses were. In the punk subculture, black and lace were popular. Towards the end of the decade, padded bras and prints such as leopard print came into fashion (Think Blondie).
Good grief granny, what HAVE you been up to?
Images courtesy of Pinterest
Isla knows a good set of underwear when she sees it. Isla firmly believes that attitude and confidence are the key ingredients to looking just fabulous in your lingerie. She’s also an avid online shopper, capable of spotting a bargain at 20 paces.
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