Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Vintage Lingerie's Best Kept Secret: The Versatile Camisole

If you've never owned a piece of vintage lingerie and need advice as to where to start,  then take it from me and start with a vintage camisole.  This versatile little garment isn't used much by most women today, but it should be.   For the life of me I can't think of why, and if you don't have one in your wardrobe, I think you are missing out on a wonderfully useful and often beautiful, piece of lingerie.  The vintage camisole is vintage lingerie's best kept secret, affordable, versatile and beautiful.     I asked a few shop owners who sell and wear them, what they like best about them and this is what they (& I ) came up with.

Why We Love Vintage Camisoles and You Should, Too

1.)  They Are Easy to Fit Correctly 

 Okay.  This one is mine.  It's the whole size thing,  which frankly, can be very intimidating and an expensive mistake if you get it wrong, as most sellers don't accept returns on vintage clothing.  Camisoles are easy to fit  because their sizes translate to modern sizes.  It's really simple.    If you are 36" at the bust, then look for a 36" bust cami.  Most have adjustable straps and if the measurements are not available and you want to be sure the length will fit you, then just ask the shop owner.  Our shop owners will be happy to take that measurement for you.  Johari of 2Sweet4Words has this amazing one for sale:

2.)  They Add an Extra Layer of Warmth

Gracie, of DesertGraceBoutique says, "I have a customer who buys them from me to wear for warmth." You may not be thinking about this in the heat of the summer, but an extra layer of warmth is a very good thing in the winter.  Especially the non-bulky kind.  Who wants to look any thicker than they have to?   We often have to make sacrifices in fashion, to stay warm,  but a camisole keeps you warm and svelt.  Check out this one from DesertGraceBoutique for warmth without the bulk:

3.)  They Make Your Blouse Look Better

Further, Gracie of DesertGraceBoutique had this to add, "I wear them under my blouses all the time. They are very comfortable and make the blouses look smooth. Also they are great for under sheer blouses."  I have to agree.  In the same way a slip can make an inexpensive dress look like a much higher quality than it actually is, a camisole improves the overall general appearance of the blouse that goes on top of it, by smoothing it out and helping it to lay better.  This one offered by Miss Susanne of ViolaVintageLingerie is just the thing to do the trick:

While some sheer blouses are meant to show a fancy bra off, some of us are a little too shy for that, or the blouse is just a little bit sheer and it looks funny seeing the bra through it.  Camisoles take care of that problem lickety-split.   Further, if one of your blouses is getting a little thread-worn, and your pretty bras are all in the laundry, you can still wear the thread-worn blouse with the utilitarian bra, because no will see it under your very pretty camisole.

4.)  They Protect Sensitive Skin

I love to wear mohair and I especially love the way it looks against bare skin, creating a kind of halo affect.   I wouldn't be able to do this without a camisole between it and me.  Actually, between me and any wool sweater.  Camisoles can stop the itchy-scratchy feeling, or at least greatly reduce it, that comes from wearing a wool sweater without a shirt or turtleneck.  Here's one I have for sale at Medicinew1, that would look so pretty under a mohair sweater that you could even let it show a little...:

5.)  They Are Pretty Peeking Through

Both Gracie, and Johari of 2Sweet4WordsVintage agree, that wearing a vintage camisole is an easy way to "pretty up" a blouse or outfit.  Just let the lace peek through at the neckline by unbuttoning an extra button or wear them as the undergarment with those nearly unwearable, but oh-s0-fun, deep, deep, deep v-necklines, of those popular 80's cotton, oversized sweaters.  They work great with a boyfriend sweater, too.  Here's an example offered by Toria of RetroGlamVintage:

6.)  They Can Be Worn as Day or Evening Wear 

Johari, of 2Sweet4WordsVintage thinks they look great in the following combination, "Camisoles are perfect under a blazer or jacket with jeans, with a pair of slacks, (or)  with a pencil skirt." Here's one offered by 2Sweet4Words shown with a sexy pair of slacks:

  Miss Susanne of ViolaVintageLingerie agrees, "I wear them with sheer tops & my jeans."   They easily transition from day wear to evening wear as Gracie suggests, "Some of them can be worn alone with a jacket for evening, like this one:

and even this one: ".

   I, personally, love that they perform double duty.  Actually, it's more like triple duty.  They can be worn as day , evening or under wear.  How many other wardrobe items can you say that about?

7.)  They Can REALLY be Worn in the Evening...

Bed time, that is.   Both, Johari and Gracie wear them to sleep in.  Sounds like a good idea to me, but if you intend to do that, I'd choose one without slides on the straps, like this beautiful one from RetroGlamVintage:

8.)  They Don't Break the Bank

Last, but not least, vintage camisoles are still extremely affordable, dare I say, cheap even.  Check out the price on this fabulous puppy:

Gracie adds that, "I have had people tell me that new cami's are hard to find, expensive and not nearly as beautiful as vintage camisoles.  I believe it is true, older lingerie is so beautiful and detailed."  Sounds like vintage camisoles are a pretty sweet deal, but for how much longer?  Once the word gets out, I'm sure the prices will start rising.  Better get them while you can....

Well, you can see why I love a great vintage camisole.  There are so many to choose from and in such wonderful colors,  it's hard to pick just one.  But at these prices, I don't have to...and you don't either. (:


Friday, March 1, 2013

Another Shout Out, The Lingerie Addict, Vintage Bras and Getting a Good Fit


We are all big fans here of the blog "The Lingerie Addict", so you can imagine our delight when one of our members, Theresas of IntimateRetreat was featured not once, not twice, but three times in the same post on the blog.  Here's the link:  


Worried about how to fit a vintage bra?  Theresas offers the following on vintage brassiere fitting:

"You need to know your under bust measurements as this will be the length of the bra measurement – yours should fall somewhere in the measurements unstretched to stretched max. If that measurement isn’t given.. ask, you can also ask how many hook and eyes and where in the measurements these fall. For a vintage bra I measure from under the bust up the bottom of my breast to my nipple to get the depth of the cup – because sometimes, depending on how pert or not pert your bust is, taking measurements over the “fullest” part won’t actually give you the right measurement. If it is a corset measure your waist pulling the tape only slightly tight.

 Also.. when putting on a vintage bullet bra it should be noted that you strap it around your body, bend over parallel to the floor and pull your breasts up into the cup. If you don’t fill the bullet shape out all the way you can add a vintage or modern type of falsie. They are small and generally only fit into the end of the bra. That way the tips don’t collapse."

     Terrific advice from a shop owner who's told me she's crazy for vintage bras. Theresas consistantly carries kick-butt vintage brassieres, and if you love them, then you will love her shop, so make it a point of bookmarking it.  


Here's a few of my favorites that Theresas has for sale at the moment, but you'll have to move fast, because her items move.

And while Theresa specializes in vintage brassieres, you'll also find some serious good stuff from our other shops, too.  Here's just a sampling:

                  1970s RARE Playtex Black PinUp Corselette with Zipper

        Offered by KitKatCaberet        

            1950s Bullet Bra  Offered by ByMidnightSparkle 

                 Van Raalte Black Mesh Bustier Bra Size 38C 

               Offered by Violavintagelingerie

That should be enough to keep you satisfied for at least a little while, ...  I may be back again today with another post, or not.  If not, I'll be back soon, though!


You can find me @:
Medicinew1 (for great vintage lingerie and vintage clothing)
Medicinew2 (for just great stuff)

New Team Members and Shops Shout Out

Well,  I've got some serious catching up to do!  So much has happened in our little circle here at Vintage Lingerie Love in the last little while, that I'll have to do several posts today to play catch-up.
First things first....a brand new, future team member was born recently, to the daughter of our illustrious teammate Brenda Summers of SummersBreeze.

A great big shout-out-welcome-to- the-world-baby-girl, from all of us,  to Paisley Rayne Lohman, who entered the world weighing in at 7 lbs 7 oz.  Yay!

According to  thrice Grandma Brenda (Paisley is welcomed into the family by her two big brothers, 4 and 7.), "She...(has)..lots of dark hair and (is) sooooo sweet."  That's pretty sweet.  We can't wait to see pictures of grandmother and granddaughter.

AND...we have an actual, new team member, too!

Another big shout-out to our newest member, 
Hope of BlessedVintage.  

Hope sells a variety of vintage articles in her shop and often includes a vintage pin with her vintage lingerie, a pin that she puts through a "full moon cleansing".   Here's what she says about it in her shop announcement:

  "Please keep in mind that all jewelry items go through a "Full Moon Cleansing," and are blessed before shipping with "love, health, wealth, & beauty" for the new owners life."

 How cool is that?  Check her out!  Welcome aboard, Hope.  We're glad to have you.

                              Vintage Lingerie Slip and Brooch

                                   Offered by BlessedVintage

I've got more to say, folks...but I think I'll keep the posts separated.  It makes things easier to locate.  

See you soon!


You can find me @:
Medicinew1 (for great vintage lingerie and other vintage clothing)
Medicinew2 (for just great vintage stuff)