by admin on April 9, 2011

vintage frock


esme hadn’t thought about slips for years.  they had just sort of slipped out of consciousness and off the scene…..until her on-line friend phashion plate brought up the issue.  “do women still wear slips?” he inquired.  which set esme to thinking.  in the early days (i.e. the ’50’s, ’60’s, and ’70’s) everyone wore slips under their dresses.  petticoats were a bit before my time, but still appear in fashion photos from the early ’60’s.

esme’s clearest slip memory dates from only about 15 years ago.  the noirs were living in the bay area, and a neighbor’s daughter was attending her middle school graduation.  the mom bopped over to esme’s house the date of the event with a slip emergency.  her daughter (about esme’s size) needed a slip for her graduation dress and wondered if she could borrow one from esme.  well, esme dug through her lingerie drawer and finally came up with an ivory-colored silk half-slip, quite wrinkled but still serviceable. esme couldn’t even remember when she had bought the slip or for what occasion.  the early ’80’s perhaps??  before or after meeting mr. noir?  this slip was definitely a relic from a previous era!

the next time esme thought about slips was when she found a really cool vintage 1920’s dress at an antique show.  the dress is made of a very sheer purplish-blue cotton with hand-embroidered details.  anyway, the fabric is so sheer that there was no way to wear it without some sort of slip or underdress, as surely the original maker had intended.  esme spent hours shopping for slips and never did find anything ideal.  the few slips one finds in department stores these days are pretty tacky.  she finally ended up with 2 alternatives:  a linen thing that was actually a sun-dress, and a purple silk thing that was actually intended as a nighty.  so esme would have to say that the slip as we knew it is dead.

however, this is one of those underwear-outerwear shifting situations.  while almost no one wears slips, one does see slip-like garments as outerwear.  standards of modesty have certainly changed (some might say they have disappeared altogether), so that seeing a bit of leg through a sheer dress is no longer a problem.  the thing that we abhor these days is bulges, and these are dealt with by spanx, not slips.

what do you think, readers?  do any of you own a slip?

slip-sliding along,



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