This vintage ad promises you’ll look like a glamorous hollywood star in a slip, especially if you are missing your lower ribs and have a 14 inch waist.

slip ad

The average woman at the time probably looked more this vintage photo of a woman in her slip. Ah, the fantasy in advertising.

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I am still researching vintage slips and just came across this catalog page from 1930s. How colorful the lingerie is! They were made from woven fabrics, mostly silk, and were not constrained by the extremely limited colors in tricot available to the home sewist today. I’m not really wild about tricot either. I love our modern day micro “modal” stretch fabrics that hug the body.


I found this online vintage dealer, Silver Screen Loungerie, who has very beautiful and glamorous vintage lingerie for sale on their site.

Silver Screen Loungerie

I keep gravitating to the peach-colored slips on their site. These first two are from the 1930s and are made of real silk charmeuse:

Barbizon Silk Charmeuse

1930 silk charmeuse

By the 1940s the “poor man’s silk”, Rayon, was introduced and used instead of real silk, like this rayon crepe-de-chine slip by Charles Desseau:

Pride of Easton 1940

and this pretty rayon number by Barbizon:

1940s rayonAnd although these slips look so pretty and romantic, for me the reality of wearing one of these under a dress is actually uncomfortable. Vintage slips are made from woven fabrics and although they tried to overcome this by cutting the fabric on the bias, there is still extra fabric that bunches up under clothes. I own a vintage bias-cut silk slip that I never wear as a slip for this reason, and instead wear it as a nightie that is only on my body for 15 minutes – the time it takes to get my husband “inspired” 😀 .

I got out my vintage slip patterns to see how they dealt with woven fabric. This pattern, Simplicity 3434, has you install a side zipper or snaps. That’s all I need, more bulk at my waist.

Simplicity 3434Vogue 5088 pulls on overhead, but to do this they added overabundance of ease to the bust.

Vogue 5088Hollywood Patterns 789 also adds extra ease so that it can be slipped on over your head, so I don’t think the actual garment will look as form fitting as the line art on the envelope. The Fabric Suggestions for this pattern are: Silk crepe, lingerie satin, novelty cotton, nainsock (huh?), batiste, lawn, and rayons.

Hollywood 789Now that I’m looking at this pattern, I think it would make a really cute summer dress. I’m going to add wider straps so I can wear a bra and a zipper to make it fit without excess ease. Glad I dug it out of the box!