Vintage Lingerie

Peignoir Set. Bustier. Petticoat. Merry Widow. Chemise.

Those are just a few of the names that lingerie has been called over the years and are seldom used now. Truth be told, there’s so much lingerie out now that it can be rather overwhelming knowing what to look for if you aren’t sure where to look or what to call it. For instance, a bodysuit and teddy are the same thing but you will get different results when you search for them online.

Since I am in the business of boudoir and part of my job is helping clients find the perfect looks for their shoot, I have learned a lot over the years. One thing that gets looked over pretty often though is vintage lingerie. I know, when you think about it the images that probably come to mind are cone bras and high cut cream itchy lace gowns that look anything but beautiful. The truth is though, if you know where to look and what you have in mind you will come across some very unique and beautiful pieces!

One of my favorite places to look for vintage lingerie is Etsy. I got into a kick of vintage lingerie buying a few years ago and was blown away by the plethora of styles that used to exist (some still do) and also how they were styled. For instance, slips used to always include a robe, hence Peignoir set.

I also can’t help but wonder about the history of the pieces I see or purchase. Was it considered daring in the day and age when it was worn? Was the woman wearing it shy or did it make her feel confident? Was it expensive and considered a luxury or a staple that every woman owned? Were bustiers seen as lingerie or just another under garment or necessary piece of the wardrobe.

As most of you know, I have over 100 pieces of lingerie in my North Carolina Boudoir studio closet that clients are more than welcome to look through and borrow for their shoot if they wish to do so (and fear not, all items are professionally dry cleaned). A lot of these pieces are vintage and sometimes inspire me to create full looks around them if the clients’ personality and look calls for me to do so. The images posted here are just a handful of the pieces I own or a client has brought in (the image on the left below).

What about you – would you consider wearing a vintage piece of lingerie or do you prefer more modern looks?