Fabulous 40s ~ Lingerie Goes Glam

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by Shirley Freeman

Ahh those fabulous forties… at least the middle to the end of that decade was fabulous. WWII had ceased, yet the Cold War had begun… but economics were improving and fashion was evolving. Starting around 1945, lingerie was making a comeback thanks to Hollywood newsreels, movies, catalogs and newspapers. Manufacturers of underwear created ad campaigns in popular magazines enticing women to buy lingerie again. Cotton stockings were appearing in colored meshes and nylon stockings were all the rage now that they were becoming more available and attractive. The push-up bra was introduced in the 40’s enhancing women’s curves.  Girdles with garters, and of course slips were commonly worn too.  Starlets of the silver screen helped the intimate apparel industry tremendously during the 1940s by wearing the the latest underpinnings, robes and swimwear.

1948-Marie-Rose-Lebigot1948 Marie-Rose Lebigot (Lingerie) Guêpiere for Marcel Rochas, Photo Pottier

1948-Vogue-by-John-Rawlings Getting dressed in 1948, Vogue by John Rawlings, photographer

1947-by-photographer-John-R Gorgeous corset, 1947 by photographer John Rawlings

Below is a terrific video clip from the late 1940s, “London Show of Corsetry and Underwear” courtesy of British Pathé, taken from a British newsreel.


In addition to the great images, note the narrator’s use of political satire when he says, “When women’s figures are nationalized, they’ll be no corset problem. Everyone will go in, and come out, in the same places.” 
‘video & content from girdleluvr

Hollywood Starlets of the 1940’s created an emormous impact by wearing glamorous lingerie.

rita_hayworthRita Hayworth, 1946, wearing a night gown designed by Jean Louis in a publicity shot for Gilda.
(image: delamanodelseptimoarte)

young-marilyn-monroe1940s.A young Marilyn Monroe models swimwear and hosiery 1940s

JENNIFER-JONESMaria Montez in sheer robe, 1940s actress in movies such as ‘Arabian Nights’

Linda-Christian1stBondGirlLinda Christian: The Real ‘First Bond Girl’ photo – Life Magazine 1945

photo by Nina Leen 1948 Not a Hollywood Star… just a photo I adore by Nina Leen, 1948.
(discovered at: ghastlydelights.tumblr.com)

Starting soon… Michelle Metens owner of Dollhouse Bettie, the much celebrated shop of vintage lingerie, will be the new blogger for ‘Lingerie That Lingers’!

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Discussion about this post

  1. Larissa says:

    The Museum at FIT has that Rochas waist cincher in their collection! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/217228381996640220/

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