Women's Vintage Lingerie

When you're looking for something to make you feel special, women's vintage lingerie is a sensuous way to do so. Bygone lingerie combines luxury with modesty and was made to last. Vintage shapewear like bras and corsets are also necessities to get the right silhouette for certain styles of vintage dresses.

What qualifies as vintage lingerie?

Bras, panties, nightgowns, and robes all qualify as lingerie, but the term is not meant to encompass everyday undergarments. "Lingerie" is more aptly applied to particular styles of nightgowns, corsets, bras, panties, girdles, garters, and stockings that display a unique combination of fashion and allure. To be vintage, the lingerie must also be more than 20 years old.

How do you choose women's vintage lingerie?

If you’re in the market for some women’s vintage lingerie, there are a few different areas to consider in your selection.

  • Choose a style: If you're looking for a vintage night dress, you will want to clarify whether you want a negligee, a baby doll, or a chemise.
  • Choose a size: Know your bust, waist, and hip measurements for the best fit.
  • Choose a color: Vintage undergarments comes in a veritable rainbow of colors with black, pink, and red being especially prevalent.
  • Choose a material: Silk, satin, cotton, and lace are just some of the fabrics used in lingerie. Nylon and polyester were also used by vintage designers.
How do you measure yourself for lingerie?

Getting the right size lingerie is imperative for having a good fit. You’ll need a flexible tape measure to get accurate results. To measure yourself:

  • Measure the circumference of the widest point of your bust.
  • Measure the circumference of the narrowest point of your waist, which is somewhere between your ribcage and your navel.
  • Measure the circumference of the widest point of your hips.
What size vintage lingerie should you buy?

Different vintage garments use different sizing systems. Corsets, bras, and slips are usually sized by bust measurements. If you are buying retro lingerie that uses small, medium, and large designations, be sure to get the bust, waist, and/or hip measurements beforehand. A size large chemise in the 1950s typically fit a 36-inch bust whereas a modern size large may be made to fit a 38-inch or 40-inch bust.

How do you care for vintage lingerie?

Most vintage pieces, be it a night dress, a bra, panties, or shorts, are delicate in nature. This is especially true of velvet, embroidered silk, and anything with feathers or sequins. To find out how to wash your lingerie, first check for a tag with cleaning directions. If a tag isn't present, then consult a professional. For lingerie in less delicate fabrics like cotton, nylon, and rayon, you can hand wash them:

  • 1. Fill your tub or sink with room-temperature water.
  • 2. Add a small amount of mild detergent or vinegar.
  • 3. Let the garment soak for 30 minutes.
  • 4. Remove the garment from the soaking water, and rinse it with clean water.
  • 5. Lay the garment flat to dry. Keep it out of direct sunlight.