Saturday, December 29, 2007

lingerie glossaries

The Panty Drawer Dictionary
We have panties for everything, and our reasoning isn't to be questioned (is it ever?). It's all about having panties, more panties, and just in case we don't have enough, spare panties. Furthermore, if there's one thing we know for sure in this unsure life, it's that the words firefighters and granny panties should never be uttered in the same sentence.

Proper panty selection is critical at all times and usually a female sixth sense. But, I understand that most men can't relate, so to be of assistance, I've taken the liberty of developing the Panty Drawer Dictionary complete with basic definitions and sidebar commentary.
Lingerie Diva posted these hosiery videos in her Diary. One is a clip from the 1957 movie Silk Stockings (this is a signature clip involving dancing with stockings); the other is a sexy stocking ad.

A lingerie glossary from Kinky Nites.

This simple glossary, with graphic representations, is from Mio Destino, an UK e-tailer.

One of our most popular sections of our Lingerie Glossary. Lingerie shopping just got easier. Find the exact lingerie and matching accessories you want fast using the Lingerie Glossary.
The Lingerie Glossary makes it easy to find your favorite lingerie, lingerie definitions, and lingerie descriptions you always had questions or or wanted to see a visual diplay of what it actually is. Simply click on a letter to discover elegant, sassy, naughty, and sexy lingerie. If it’s lingerie, we’ve got it defined here in the Lingerie Glossary! Baby dolls, shelf bras, g-strings, you name it!
This glossary from Fresh Pair is one the most complete I've found so far. I'm sure we've all plagiarized each other for completeness.

Her Room Lingerie posted this lexicon.

The Glamour Dictionary
entry for "tightlacing" includes a comprehensive--is anything really comprehensive--fashion dictionary.

bras organized by brand.

A bra glossary from Intimate Guide.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Top 10 most expensive Lingerie includes a C. Gilson set that includes: Robe, bra, chemise, panty and garter for $2,684 (£1,538, €2,253, 118,391 rupees, C$3,098, A$3,637) that can be purchased at When I tried to load the site, nothing came up. So....

There was also promise of the 100 top lingerie designs--all I got was a e-tailer site & no pointer to any design gallery.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ribbon Corset

Originally, ribbon corsets were worn on the *outside* of clothing. This accentuated how small a woman's waist was.This unique style corset is from the Victorian era, and serves more as a fashion statement, rather than being suitable for serious tight-lacing. It laces down about 3-4-inches in the waistline, and does not create an hourglass waist profile, but rather a gentle, U-shaped profile. The Ribbon is suitable for wear over dresses and gowns much like a wide belt.
The front busk is about 9-inches tall and the sides are about 3-4-inches tall. Almost any fabric can be used for the front and sides, and a coordinating ribbon color may be chosen (six standard colors in stock but many more available).
Ribbon corsets were popular amongst thin women who did not need the support of a full corset but just wanted their waist nipping in. Silk ribbon corsets were also used as negligee as a relief from a full boned corset while ribbon corsets made out of stronger material such as cotton twill, were favored during sporting activities.

B. Altman and Company Ribbon corset is a French-made ribbon corset from 1900-1908 is posted in the Antique Corset Gallery.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Random Bikini History resources

Bikini Science is a comprehensive textbook on the development and variety of the swimsuit. Since swimwear and underwear are so closely related this site is a good source of information. It is very well done, covering the subject with depth & breadth.

Sky News, a UK television news program, produced a web piece for the bikini's 50th birthday. It includes an overview of the development of the bikini. Included are protest bikinis--some made of lettuce or flowers.

TIME magazine produced this photo essay to celebrate the bikini.

R is for Rudi Gernreich is a post on the designer of the topless bikini.
No-Bra Bra & See-Throughs. No designer these days reveals more than California's Rudi Gernreich, 45, the man who shocked the world in 1964 with his topless bathing suit. No stylesetter has capitalized with more flair on the current vogue for exposure; but even his critics grant that Rudi's topless was only an incident in his rapid rise to leadership as the most way-out, far-ahead designer in the U.S. When he was inducted into Fashion's Hall of Fame this fall the sixth U.S. designer to be so honored he was hailed by the selection committee as "one of the fabulous originals," the designer who has been so consistently a front runner that "like World War II's Kilroy, wherever one looks in fashion, it seems 'Gernreich was here.' "

Gernreich (which he pronounces to rhyme with earn quick) made his mark by being not only the first U.S. designer to raise skirts well above the knee but also the first with such trend-setting styles as colored stockings, now so overwhelmingly popular, which he showed as part of what he called "the total look," with dress, stockings and sometimes a hood all matching. Along the way, he has introduced vinyl clothes developed out of a material that looks completely "today" and a series of freeing designs aimed at giving back to the female body its natural look and curves, including his knit tank suits, his No-Bra bra, and sheer, see-through nylon blouses.

Wicked Alternative. For last month's spring showings, Gernreich arrived togged out in one of his favorite zippered Pierre Cardin "cosmocorps" suits, looking every bit as futuristic as his fashions. Standing fully erect, his 5-ft. 6-in., 138-lb. figure poised with a lithe dancers grace, he told the buyers and press: "A woman today can be anything she wants to be a Gainsborough or a Reynolds or a Reynolds Wrap." Then came a preview of the provocative choices ahead. First was a series of simple knit dresses simple except for the clear vinyl bands that saucily bared the navel and the underslope of the bosom. Nor were the bathing suits that followed any letdown. Clear vinyl was at work again to make them the nudest since the topless.

Gernreich confronted the problem of the miniskirt head on. Tights may take care of modesty in the wintertime, believes Rudi, but for summer they are simply too hot. "Since skirts as such are really disappearing, they have to have a different look," he announced, and proceeded to prescribe either puffy bloomers or Siamese skirts with a security panel wrapped between the legs. For braver women, he offered a wicked alternative: a black bikini bottom to match the briefest tent dress ever. (Up, Up & Away, Time Magazine, Friday, Dec. 01, 1967)

Peggy Moffit modeling the famous Rudi Gernrich “No Bra” bra--"Vintage mid 60's Rudi Gernreich 'No Bra' Bra, size 32C. Classic nylon bra with adjustable shoulder straps and 3 adjustments to the size at the back hook. Looks and feels if your wearing absolutely nothing. Soft and semi sheer."
sources Hippie Goddess, Glamoursurf

[added 20 April 2008, revised 09 April 2009]

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Wonderbra

History sketch for the Wonderbra, from invention in 1935 in Canada to the present.

During the course of my serious work on the lingerie dictionary I've noticed 1) that Wikipedia is not given credibility (although, the site owners are addressing that issue) & 2) many website owners lift pages directly from Wikipedia for their own sites.

Wonderbra has done enhanced work in advertising. Here is a magazine ad with a gimmicky pull string demonstrating "how-it-works". Here is a clever ad for Wonderbra France proving that a third hand is not always necessary.


Corset History

An extensive museum/history of the UK corset can be found at Ivy Leaf's Tribute to the Corsetiere. It appears to be an exciting collection of corset material with links and historical graphics. Much too much material to incorporate into my current project--which is limited to 80 pages and an alphabetical listing of items.

Zona--The Girdle Zone is another good site.

The Victoria & Albert Museum includes this collection detailing the transformation of the Corset into the bustle. Shapewear from the ages.

The Long Island Staylace Association (LISA) is a regularly updated resource on all things corset. Modern and historical information and galleries that include member contributions.

And a Corset Dictionary from

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lingerie in the modern Middle East

Don't know how to classify this post:

How about modern Arabic lingerie or Middle Eastern sexuality?

Anyway, try Dangerous Lingerie and Other Mid East Street Stories that Spook the West to preview an upcoming book about the role of lingerie in Syrian sex. “The secret Life of Syrian lingerie: Intimacy and Design” This book will be published together with Scalo Publishers by the end of 2007. Photo by Omar al-Moutem.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Panty Variations (unusual styles)

Try these panty variants to prevent VPL (Visible Panty Line):
  • C-String Panty from C-String Direct;
  • Backless Lingerie Invisible Thong;
  • Nundies
    What are Nundies?

    Nundies are a one-time use, pantyless panty that adhere to the inside inseam of a woman's pants. Nundies are a great fashion solution product for women who want to go bare-down-there without the discomfort of itchy clothing. Nundies also save women from the embarrassment of tacky panty lines and from having to wear uncomfortable thongs.

    Brought to market by Dallas–based Advanced Materials, Inc. in October 2006, Nundies marked a new product line for the company known for its success in manufacturing medical products, such as diet patches, mammography pads, and single–use ice packs.

    The tulip–shaped panty comes in packages of five for a suggested retail price of $15 each. Whether it's 5 Naughty Black Nundies, 5 Blushing Buff Nundies, or 5 Sassy Assorted Nundies, there's a color to suit every need.

  • The Buttocks Bra and the "Hip Lift Tanga" panty (pictured below) are Japanese products designed to shape the buttocks of Asian women trying on Western styles. There is also a version for men [B. Man, that will make you a "Man of Men"]

Bra Ads

Fashion Flashbacks-exploring retro style walks through some of the changes in brassiere advertising.

Here's an interview from Terry Gross' Fresh Air:
Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau

Listen Now: [18 min 15 sec]

Fresh Air from WHYY, February 19, 2002 · Jane Farrell-Beck and Colleen Gau, authors of the book, Uplift: The Bra in America. It's a sociological and historical look at the undergarment. Farrell-Beck is Professor of Textiles and Clothing at Iowa State University. Colleen Gau is President of CPRTex, Inc., a home-based conservation of textiles business, and a writer.

How about an ad from the cinema (circa 1970s) from VidJar?

or National Geographic's Secret History of the Bra video (also from VidJar)?

Here's an article about dating vintage textiles/clothing that can come in handy for collectors. It is located on the vintage clothing re-seller Vintage Slips 4

And a link to the updated "I Dreamed..." Maidenform campaign.

I've been all over the internet recently searching for the "I Dreamed..." ads. This campaign ran for 20 years, but relatively few have been scanned and posted--most that have are for sale for about $7 to $10 bucks each. presents some of the most common (the set is linked/stolen/re-posted everywhere); she also links to more fun bras to check out.
Bandeau Boudoir with links and scans that are disappearing as the web changes:
"Welcome to
Bandeau Boudoir
An Image Collection Specializing in
Classic Bras and Foundation Garments!
Last Updated: 3/6/99 - Click Here for Update Information.
(Bra Links page last updated 7/12/99)"