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What is a vintage slip? How to buy your first vintage slip. A slip, also known as an underskirt, petticoat, or half-slip, is an undergarment originally designed to be worn for modesty and comfort underneath a skirt or dress. It’s made of smooth material such as nylon, satin or silk which helps it gently cling to the body, giving an added layer between the skirt and your skin. Although slips are not necessary for most garments these days due to the design innovations of ready-to-wear fashion, they still serve a practical purpose in providing fluidity, body shape definition and coverage, as well as being glamorous for their own sake.
"I bought my first vintage slip and I've never looked back".
I bought my first vintage slip from a charity shop while I was at university studying fashion and dress history, at a time when very few women even knew what nylon slips for ladies were, let alone wear one. It was a pale champagne colour 1950's pleated hem full slip by Barbizon. I still have it today and I would never part with it. Interestingly, when my friends were in my room they would notice it and very soon they wanted to have something similar for themselves. Afterwards, whenever I saw nylon slips for sale I would buy the ones I liked the most and my collection soon grew. I was hooked on collecting vintage nylon slips and other fifties frillies and so were many of my friends.
"8000 vintage slips, madame? Wine not?! Sip back and relax!"
Sometime after that I began working for a contemporary lingerie manufacturing company and I was having dinner with a German business associate in a lovely hotel restaurant overlooking the river Rhine near Düsseldorf in northern Germany. I think I might have had a little too much wine, because I somehow and rather rashly agreed to buy the entire contents of a warehouse in Saxony that he needed to clear out before the developers moved in.
He made me an offer I couldn't refuse because the warehouse was full of vintage women’s nylon slips from the 1940’s to the 1960’s - approximately 8000 of them - that he needed to get rid of before he could start working on the building. Luckily for me, he'd remembered I had an interest in mid-century vintage underwear and made me the offer. After recovering from that “oh no, what have I done?” reaction the next morning, I eventually came to realise it was the best thing I ever did. If you can't imagine what 8000 vintage slips looks like, that's 6 square metre bales. Too heavy to lift, we needed a fork lift truck to load them on to the back of a UK-bound articulated lorry!
"Follow your heart, follow your style".
When it comes to investing in a vintage slip, size and style are two of the most important considerations. Make sure to take accurate measurements and purchase a slip in the right size for you. You don't necessarily need multiple slips for various occasions; opt for one or two high-quality slips instead of buying cheaply made ones. Depending on your personal style, you can choose subtle colors like nude or white or invest in a more glamorous piece with lots of lace details. Match the length of your slip with the length of your dresses; if you prefer a classic retro look, go for a midi-length vintage slip for a glamorous vintage woman 1940's look.
"Always wear a pretty slip to bed. You'll never know who you'll meet in your dreams".
Slips, traditionally worn as undergarments, can actually make for comfortable nightwear due to their breathable fabrics and comfortable designs. Full slips, in particular, can double as nightdresses with their soft touch and flexible fit. So, if you are looking for a comfortable and stylish option for bedtime, consider slipping into a slip!
Slips aren't just for sleeping in too! They can also double as comfortable loungewear for those lazy days at home. Picture yourself savoring your morning coffee in a luxurious satin slip or relaxing on the sofa in a soft, silky nylon slip while watching your favorite TV show in the evening. Slips are versatile and can be both practical and glamorous. Don't let the stereotype of slips being old-fashioned fool you - slips can actually be very sexy to wear. In fact, some of Hollywood's most glamorous leading ladies have worn slips on screen to create a steamy and alluring look. So, don't be afraid to embrace the practicality and beauty of slips in your own wardrobe. After all, sometimes the most sensible choices can also be the most stunning.
Slips heaven! How to choose and buy a vintage slip,
by Emma Benitez of Nylon Nostalgia.
"Wearing a nice slip makes me feel really glamorous".
Wearing a vintage slip is a great way to add an extra element of style to any outfit. Whether you're wearing a 1940s dress or something just as classic, donning the right vintage slip can add an alluring layer and timeless flair. With Nylon Nostalgia's vintage nylon slips, you can experience the full effect of wearing classic and timeless clothing. Vintage slips not only give your body the perfect "fluidity" when it comes to wearing fitted dresses, but they are also incredibly beautiful objects that can be worn on their own for a glamorous, chic look. When you add one of our carefully chosen and exquisite antique slips to an outfit, you will feel both elegant and confident!
"Pretty lingerie makes it all better!"
If you're after a timeless look that provides comfort and style, vintage slips are the perfect way to go. Whether it's delicate silk or nylon, or deluxe satin, wearing a slip underneath a 1930's or 40's fashion style dress instantly adds elegance and helps to prevent your dress or skirt from sticking to your skin. If you want to stay comfortable while looking chic, then try adding a vintage slip to your wardrobe!
When you have a vintage dress that you want to wear, it is important to ensure that the slip you buy matches the style of that dress. Different fashion trends influenced slip design, so if you have a 1950's dress, look for 1950s slips! Wearing a mismatched slip with your favourite 50's dress could affect how it feels and looks when you wear it. Do your research and track down the right slip for your vintage dress - it'll make all the difference in how your outfit looks. When buying a slip, it's important to consider the length and neckline that will best complement your dress or skirt. The right slip will help your clothing hang smoothly and flatter your body shape.
"Wear a beautiful slip, even if you are the only person who is going to see it".
Remember, a slip should always be invisible under your outerwear, so choose wisely! When it comes to wearing a slip under a dress or skirt, it's important to get the length just right. A good rule of thumb is to have the hem of the slip end two to three inches above the bottom of the skirt. This ensures that when you sit down or take a stride, the slip won't peek out from under the skirt. If the slip is only slightly shorter than the skirt, there's a risk of it being visible and ruining the overall look. Disregard all this if you are just buying a gorgeous slip for nothing other than the pleasure and glamour of wearing it - that's the fun bit after all!
When purchasing vintage slips, always be aware that vintage clothing sizing may differ from modern-day sizes. Therefore, it is important to check a vintage slip's measurements before buying in order to ensure a proper fit. Try wearing a vintage slip under your favorite dress or skirt and revel in the timeless sophistication it adds!
"Choose your vintage slips carefully. Quality is everything".
It is important to know some signs of quality when buying a vintage slip for the first time. Gores are an important part of any slip, as it is these sections of the fabric that give the slip its shape. Generally, more gores will result in better quality and a more feminine outline, though too many gores can be overkill - usually anything up to 8 gores is quite adequate. Therefore, when shopping for vintage slips, be sure to pay attention to how many gores they have as this will determine their overall look and feel.
Your shortcut to Slips Heaven. Click the button below to see my slips for sale...
I'm completely biased, so I would definitely say Nylon Nostalgia!
That said, other outlets are available online of course. Etsy and eBay always have vintage slips for sale. Charity shops and thrift shops, antique centres, shops and fairs; jumble sales, garage sales, etc are also places you can find them.
When shopping for a vintage slip, there are a few key signs of quality to keep in mind. First, check the fabric for any signs of wear or damage, such as holes or fraying. Look for slips made from high-quality materials like silk or satin, which will feel luxurious against your skin. Pay attention to the construction of the slip, including the stitching and any embellishments like lace or embroidery. A well-made vintage slip will have clean, even seams and no loose threads. Finally, consider the overall style and design of the slip. Look for classic, timeless pieces that will complement your wardrobe and stand the test of time. By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that you're investing in a vintage slip that is both beautiful and high-quality.
When shopping for a vintage slip, it’s important to ensure that it fits properly. It is absolutely essential to know your size. To do this, measure your hips and bust with a tape measure, and then compare it to the measurements of the slip you’re considering. Make sure to also check the length of the slip as well. All vintage slips listed on Nylon Nostalgia have detailed measurements in their descriptions to ensure you achieve a perfect fit. To help you, I have written a full page article devoted to learning more about how to measure for a vintage slip: https://nylonnostalgia.com/vintage-slip-size-guide
Slips, also known as petticoats or underskirts, have a long history of use in fashion. Dating back to the seventeenth century, slips were worn to support the shape of skirts, provide warmth, and protect outer garments. However, the modern slip as we know it today originated in the late nineteenth century when the petticoat was combined with a chemise or corset cover to create a fitted, sleeveless undergarment. This new garment, known as a "princess petticoat" or "princess slip," used vertical seaming to shape the bodice and skirt. Over time, the name evolved to "costume slip" and eventually just "slip."
Why wear a slip? Slips may have fallen out of fashion in recent years, but they still serve an important purpose in any wardrobe. Not only do they improve the appearance and comfort of a dress, but they also have practical benefits. For example, slips can prevent a dress from being too sheer or clingy, allowing the fabric to hang freely and smoothly. They can also help to smooth and shape the body, minimizing the appearance of any imperfections. Additionally, slips can provide an extra layer of warmth during the colder months, especially for dresses made of wool or other itchy fabrics. So don't overlook this versatile and useful undergarment and give your dresses the slip!
Wondering if the old-fashioned slip is still necessary? Absolutely! Wearing a slip will not only keep your dresses and skirts clean, but it can also help to disguise any bumps or lumps you may have underneath your clothing. And for more fitted garments like thin dresses, the extra layer of a slip can keep them from clinging to your skin when you're moving around, giving that lovely free-moving fluidity that modern fitted dress linings can't provide. So why not listen to Grandma and give this classic vintage undergarment a try!
Is it acceptable to let your slip show? Well, if your slip is that pretty then surely you are not committing a fashion faux pas if you let it show a little. I suppose it really all depends on the situation and personal preference. If the slip is made of a beautiful material and complements the outfit, then it can be a stylish addition. Ultimately, it's up to the individual to decide if they feel comfortable and confident showing their slip.
A full slip is a type of undergarment that covers the entire body from the shoulders down to just above the hemline of a dress or skirt. It is typically worn over a bra and panties for added coverage and support. Some full slips, known as bra slips, even come with a built-in bra for a smoother look and better shaping. Whether you're wearing a knee-length or floor-length dress, a full slip can help ensure that your outfit looks flawless and stays in place all day long.
A half slip, also known as a waist slip or underskirt, is a type of undergarment that is worn around the waist and extends down to either just above the ankle or mid-thigh. It is held in place by an elastic waistband and is designed to provide an extra layer of coverage and smoothness under skirts and dresses. Mini slips, introduced in the 1960's, are a shorter version of the waist slip and are specifically designed to be worn under mini skirts. Formal slips, or maxi slips, are longer and often worn for more formal occasions.
What do the Germans call nylon slips? What is Danish for 'slip'? Know your underkjole from your sottoveste! In Germany they call a slip 'unterkleid', while in France they are known as 'combinaison'. In the Netherlands they call a slip an 'onderjurk' and in Denmark they are known as 'underkjole'. If slip shopping in Sweden, you'll need to know the word 'underklänning'. Not to be outdone, the Italians call their slips 'sottoveste', while to the Spanish they are called 'enagua'.
Beware though - in places like France and Germany the word 'slip' is often used to describe a pair of panties or knickers. Very confusing!
For your further information, I have a full lingerie glossary translator - take a look!
A bra slip is a type of full slip that includes a built-in bra for added breast support. This eliminates the need for wearing a separate bra underneath the slip, making it less bulky and more comfortable. Some bra slips even have concealed underwires to provide discreet support. Bra slips are especially useful when wearing a sheer or fitted dress, as they provide both coverage and support.
Bra slips have been around for quite some time. They come in various styles, including strapless and lace-edged corseted designs. These slips also often include waist cinchers or corseting for shaping purposes. Vintage bra slips can be found in many vintage clothing shops such as Nylon Nostalgia. Bra slips are a great choice for those who want a sleek, modern look or a vintage, lacy style. They provide a comfortable and cool option for undergarments, with fewer layers under clothing for a smoother appearance.
Article: Whatever happened to the bra slip?
When it comes to choosing the right slip for your dress or skirt, it's important to consider both the length and neckline of your garment. A slip that is too short or too long can affect the way your clothing hangs on your body, while the wrong neckline can be visible under your outerwear. To ensure a seamless look, choose a slip that is the correct length and neckline for your dress, and remember that it should never be visible under your outer layers. The hem of your slip should be approximately 2 inches higher than the hem of your vintage dress to allow for movement.
It really is down to your own personal preference if you should buy a more sheer, see-through nylon vintage slip, or a more opaque one. North American women typically purchase more opaque nylon slips for practical reasons, whereas those in Europe tend to opt for sheer designs that take lingerie-wear up an extra notch.
Yes you can! If you are considering wearing a vintage slip to bed, it is important to choose one that you truly love. However, practicality should also be a factor in your decision. Look for slips with wide shoulder straps, as delicate shoelace straps are more likely to break and require frequent repairs. Vintage nylon slips from the 1970's to the 1990's often feature wider straps and are more readily available and affordable than older nylon slips from the 1940's, 50's, and 60's. In fact, 1980's fashion is currently considered "new vintage," making it a great time to find a slip that combines both style and comfort. So why not indulge in a little nighttime glamour and sleep in a vintage slip?
I wrote an entire article on the subject and you can see it here: https://nylonnostalgia.com/f/do-you-sleep-in-slips?blogcategory=Slips
Originally actually a true slip, a slip dress is a type of dress that is designed to look like an undergarment or petticoat. It is typically made from lightweight, flowy fabric and is cut on the bias to create a flattering, figure-hugging silhouette. Slip dresses often feature delicate spaghetti straps and may incorporate lace or sheer elements to offer a hint of skin. While they were originally intended to be worn as lingerie, slip dresses have become a popular fashion item in their own right and can be dressed up or down for a variety of occasions. Many of the delightfully feminine vintage slips available in Nylon Nostalgia's online vintage lingerie shop would make perfect, and truly unique, slip dresses. With so many nylon slips for sale there are plenty to choose from.
Yes, you can wear a vintage slip as a dress! In fact, a midi or mini-length slip dress can be a perfect choice for a breezy summer outfit. The lightweight and flowy fabric, along with the open neckline, make it a comfortable and stylish option. To add a touch of pure chic to your look, try layering your slip dress over a white T-shirt and pairing it with strappy sandals or even white sneakers.
From my personal experience I have often worn silk slips for dresses, as well as nylon slips, and they have made perfect slip dresses for summer parties, holidays and vacations, etc.
When it comes to sustainability, buying vintage clothing is a great option. Not only are you giving a second life to a piece of clothing, but vintage items are often made with high-quality materials that are durable and long-lasting. By choosing to buy a vintage slip, you are making a sustainable choice that supports the reuse and recycling of clothing.
When it comes to sustainability, buying vintage clothing is a great option. Vintage clothing is typically considered to be at least 20 years old, giving it a retro and sustainable label. Unlike fast fashion, vintage clothing is made to last and can withstand the test of time. It remains fashionable and doesn't deteriorate after just a few wears. By being passed down through multiple owners, vintage clothing can continue to be loved and reused, often looking even better than it did when it was first produced. So, if you're considering buying a vintage slip, it's a sustainable choice that can help reduce waste and support a more circular fashion economy.
Hand-washing is the best way to wash a vintage slip. When it comes to washing a vintage slip, it is important to handle it with care. Start by filling a bowl or tub with lukewarm water and adding a gentle detergent. Let the nylon or silk slip soak for 30 minutes to an hour and then thoroughly rinse it clean until the water is free of detergent suds and is completely clear. Avoid wringing or pulling the fabric, as this can damage the delicate material. Always let your freshly washed vintage slip dry slowly in air - never use a hot tumble dryer. The best way to dry a delicate vintage nylon slip is to lay it out flat on top of a dry towel and let it dry slowly in air. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your vintage slip stays in great condition for years to come.
If you really do insist on washing your delicate vintage slips in your washing machine, then always use a low temperature 'delicates' wash. Never wash on high temperature or this will eventually lead to deterioration of your slip's fabric quality. Avoid machine washing rayon slips altogether.
To be fair to nylon, it does not wrinkle as much as many other fabrics. If you neatly lay your vintage nylon slip out over a towel to slowly dry naturally in air you may find that ironing isn't really necessary.
Ironing nylon women's slips can be tricky, but it is possible with the right precautions. First, set your iron to the lowest temperature setting - no more than 2 'dots' on the iron's temperature dial - and make sure to use a press cloth, like a clean cotton handkerchief or fabric scrap, between the iron and the nylon. If you still have stubborn wrinkles, try using the “steamer” function on your iron to gently remove them. Keep the iron moving all the time. Just be sure to proceed with caution to avoid damaging the delicate fabric of your fifties frillies by having your iron too hot.
I wouldn't want to put it to the test with my precious vintage nylon slips, but the melting temperature of Nylon 6 is 215 degrees Celsius, while Nylon 6,6 melts at 260 degrees Celsius. Like I say, don't put it to the test!
Nylon is a synthetic material that is created by combining polymers with a compound called amide. It has a smooth and silky texture and is classified as a thermoplastic, which means that it can be molded or shaped when exposed to high temperatures and will solidify when cooled. Nylon is commonly used in the production of clothing, carpets, and other textiles due to its durability and versatility.
The term “bias cut” refers to a fabric being cut diagonally across its grain. Usually, fabrics are woven on the bias with fibers running at a right angle to each other and being cut in parallel direction. When using a bias cut, the fabric is aligned so that the threading runs diagonal to the selvages of the fabric. When bias cut is used for slips, slip dresses and other garments, the fabric curves beautifully over the body and follows its forms, offering a flattering fit and emphasizing particular parts of the figure.
A rayon slip is a type of undergarment made from a man-made fabric called rayon. Rayon is unique in that it is not a natural or synthetic fiber, but rather a man-made fiber created from wood pulp. Viscose is a type of rayon, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. Originally developed as a silk substitute, rayon has a soft drape and is breathable, making it ideal for hot weather. A rayon slip is a comfortable and lightweight option for wearing under dresses or other clothing. Rayon slips were more popular prior to the 1960's and are available to buy online through Nylon Nostalgia's shop.
Perlon slips were a popular choice for women's undergarments in the 1950's and 1960's due to their unique properties. Unlike other nylon fabrics available at the time, Perlon had a higher tensile strength, allowing for thinner and more lightweight fabric that still provided the same level of durability. Additionally, Perlon is resistant to flecking, rubbing, and ripping, making it a practical choice for everyday wear. But what really sets Perlon apart is its ability to hold pastel colors, which was not possible with standard nylon fabrics. This is why Perlon slips often came in delicate shades of pink, yellow, and other delicate pastels.
I have a lot of experience of vintage Perlon slips, having not only being an avid collector for many years but also selling many hundreds of Perlon slips in my shops. I have found them to be highly resilient to fabric surface damage while at the same time being very lightweight and delicate to the touch. I would certainly recommend Perlon vintage slips to anyone thinking of purchasing these for their lingerie collection.
Have you ever wondered what makes a slip look so flattering and shapely? The answer is gores! Gores are panels of fabric that make up the main body of a slip. They give shape to the slip, creating a more feminine silhouette with an hourglass taper at the waist. More gores typically means better quality in a slip. Generally, four or six gores are sufficient, while more than eight is unnecessary and overkill. Looking for vintage slips? Make sure to pay attention to the number of gores in order to ensure higher quality.
From my own experience of wearing slips, the ones I have with the most gores - usually 6 or 8 - are the slips that fit me better than the rest and follow the contours of my body better too. Because they are a better fit they make me feel more confident in what I wear and how I go about my daily business. If you pay attention to these quality features when buying slips for yourself then I am sure you will notice the difference too.