I’ve found some fabulous and rather random things at op shops and other stores lately. First, meet Frances:
Obviously she’s not going to be called by her full name most of the time 😉
I’m very excited about having something to photograph tap pants and trousers on properly, and she’s almost exactly my size, which is an added bonus.
She was sitting in the window of an op shop that I drive past on an almost daily basis, along with two identical companions, and after three days I decided that I really needed her, though having a bottom just sitting around my bedroom is a bit odd!
The next finds are on a theme. Some of my sewing students told me that a completely random store had got ahold of a whole selection of dead-stock 1960s undergarments from a factory clear out. Finding them involved going out to my least favourite part of the greater Wellington area, but I persevered and got:
A side-zip body girdle:
And a soft bullet-bra:
I love how low these all dip in back:
And a front-fastening body girdle:
And, best of all, two longline bullet-bras:
I can’t believe it has taken me this long to discover longline bras! They are the best thing ever! Instant waist definition, with no effort or pain!
Also, the fact that they fasten front and back? So cunning!
I mainly bought all of the pieces to study construction techniques, and to take patterns from the bras.
It’s really interesting studying 1950s-80s factory-made NZ clothing, because the NZ garment industry was so protected for all of those years that there wasn’t a lot of incentive to update techniques or equipment or styles. This means that I sometimes pick up a garment (granted, usually basics like pencil skirts, and things that weren’t attempts at the heights of fashion( and assume its from the 1960s, but in a NZ context it is actually 10 or 20 years later.
These undergarments are a perfect illustration of that. The store had the factory guides to each garment, and the guide posters were definitely mid-1960s, and the patterns for the undergarments were definitely drafted in the mid-1960s, but based on annotations on the boxes of undergarments, they continued to use the same patterns for years – possibly as late as the early ’90s.
So my undergarments may be significantly more recent than the 1960s, but the are definitely made from 1960s patterns, and used the same techniques that would have been used in the ’60s, but with some updating of materials.
To end on a slightly sweeter note (this whole post is on the edge of my propriety boundaries!), I found this adorable petticoat-slip (completely unworn!) at an op-shop for $6. And it fits me perfectly! But I’m tempted to be good and not wear it.
It’s beautifully made: a mixture of hand and machine sewing.
Once again, I’m a bit confused about dating, but I think late 1940s.
Isn’t the broderie anglaise gorgeous? Machine made, but still a thing of beauty.
Long line bras are wonderful! Bye-bye to that evil little under-bust spare tyre that made so many look blobby in nicely fitting frocks and jerseys! Clever you. I have looked online for long-line bras, and they are as scarce as the proverbial hen’s teeth. Great find!
Frances looks like a valuable addition to the system – I take it her full name is St Frances of Assisi? 🙂
If you want I might be able to get you a long line bra? Sizing is limited but there are a few more.
You’re far worse than I am with puns 😉 I didn’t even think of that one!
I’m a 36DD, for my sins! (Thinks, “Ah! Chocolate!”) That is current sizing – this will have changed since those bras were made, I imagine. Fingers crossed! That would be very kind of you!
I can’t help it – puns just happen – but usually I keep them to myself to avoid recriminations!:-)
You know although those 1960’s girdles look like torture devices- for large busted women like me (DDD or E cup) they actually take the strain off the straps, shoulders, & upper back unlike most ‘modern’ bras.
I’ve found wearing corsets & stays distribute the weight of large breasts more comfortably also.
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I don’t like girdles as much as corsets for comfort, but they are MUCH better than modern python panties. I’ve heard from a lot of larger busted women that corsets and full girdles are much better than modern bras. Things don’t always improve!
Great finds! I love the slip/petticoat, I’d love to wear one like this, the embellishments are beautiful
Isn’t it wonderful? It’s so sad that so much modern underwear just isn’t beautiful.
What incredible finds! Sounds like you had a fun past few days.
I am sending you a book! It’s called “Elegance”, a how-to-dress book written in the mid 60s, just as these sorts of foundations fell from importance. You will love all of the casual references to dress making and dress wearing from pre-WWI up to that time and the first-person account of the radical shifts. Written by a French woman, it’s funny, and oh so judgmental without being malicious.
And it wasn’t just NZ. My grandmother in Texas wore these very same garments up until her death in 2007. I never knew if she just kept her old ones, or if she had a place where she could buy new. I would never have been able to ask–it would have been far beyond her line of propriety.
Oooh..sounds fun! You are the best!
I’m about to email you about impending arrivals of all kinds and other fun 🙂
I would love to own a long-line bra – like Lynne I have asked around and looked online, without much luck. Have resigned myself to having to one day make one, in a far off distant future when I get a pattern and the supplies.