Lingerie and underwear contribute heavily in how clothes will sit on the body. What you wear underneath will ultimately determine the overall look of your outfit. The hourglass figure of the 1950’s owes everything to underwear. Whilst we might have led more active lives and ate less processed food in the past, women were not all genetically blessed with the much desired 34/24/34 shape.
Fifties siren Diana Dors became the ultimate celebrity endorsement for the bullet bra during the decade and having recently purchased one from the lovely ladies at ‘What Katy Did’ in Ladbroke Grove, I can see why she loved it so much. The ‘bullet’ gives a firm uplift without wires and the pointy cup is wonderful for shaping a silhouette however be prepared to turn heads when wearing one!
Knickers sat high on the waist and nipped and tucked perfectly without the need for surgery or diets. Suspenders were all the rage and seamed stockings sealed the ‘bombshell’ look.
Morley ran their campaigns for stockings using pin-up images, becoming one of the best-selling manufacturers of the time although rivals Du Pont focused on the durability of Nylon and chose a scientific approach to their advertising.
It was still common for men to wear both vests and long johns (a type of thermal legging) at the start of the decade – a habit from the war years - but as fashion changed, it was viewed as prudish. Production of garments using Aertex allowed gentlemen to remain fresher in their clothes and gradually, vests and long undershorts were ditched to be replaced by y-fronts. By 1959, continental influence saw a rise in the popularity of briefs. With more and more families being able to take holidays in the fifties, men began wearing swimming trunks in a brief short style which sparked many debates on modesty. If only folk knew then that the
‘man-kini’ was coming!!!
Written by Hannah Wing from www.bellusfemina.co.uk