I’m not squeamish about wearing used clothing, but getting dolled up in 50 year-old skivvies is where I draw the line. Still, I think the gals of the 40s and 50s were on to something when it came to undergarments. Our foremothers knew that you don’t have to give it all away to be sexy, and that playful and cheeky â€” no pun intended â€” could be more exciting than a feral, lusty baring-it-all look. Of course, you don’t necessarily want to be digging through Goodwill’s bargain bin in search of a yellowed, stretched-out garter belt and cone bra. Try on a few modern incarnations of pin-up girl style instead.
Modesty Is The Best Policy
Pin-up girls and burlesque dancers of days gone by knew that the suggestion of flesh could be more titillating than letting it all hang out. Plus, the more coverage you’re sporting, the less apt you are to be tugging at your undies and hating your thighs. So channel your inner Betty Page and ditch the thong. Rago has been making high-waisted, conservative undergarments since the 50s (they’re the quintessential granny-panties), but they take on a whole new appeal when worn with red lipstick and heels.
Dot To It
Chili Williams â€” known as The Polka Dot Girl â€” made polka dots her trademark, and an iconic part of 40s and 50s fashion. It’s sexy-meets-playful, the kind of thing that had men lusting after the girl next door. If you’re inspired by pin-up style but aren’t ready to rock a full-on retro look, Affinitas makes great modern, mix-and-matchable piecesâ€”bra, cami, thong and boyshorts in baby blue/white, black/white or pink/maroon (and they come in a huge range of sizes).
Shocking With Stockings
Stockings weren’t always the hallmark of sex appeal that they are today. Pantyhose weren’t invented till the 1950s â€” and didn’t really take off until 1970 â€” so before that, stockings were merely a foundation garment. Fishnets and sheer black are always good choices, but my favorites are the more subtle, nude stockings with a black back seam from (beautiful, talented and absolutely lovely) burlesque dancer, Danger Dame’s website.
Skirt The Issue
Flouncy and flirty, skirted lingerie lets you play â€œpeekabooâ€ without even trying. They’ve become more and more popular in the past decade, and this set from Victoria’s Secret is appropriately ruffled and girlie.
1. Retro High Waist
2. Rago High Waist Sheer Retro Pantie $18.80
3. Retro Polka Dot
4. Affinitas Intimates – Ella
5. Retro Stockings
6. Flirty 1940s Cuban-Heeled Stockings $10
7. Retro Skirt
8. Victoria’s Secret Sheer Garter Skirt Sale $14.99
Image Layout: Minette Higden