Can You Really Buy Vintage Lingerie?

Very few people would happily buy pre-worn underwear even if large cash savings were on offer, so how come things are different with classic lingerie.

As with many items of retro fashion, vintage lingerie is much more that just another clothing item to add to the others in the wardrobe. Retro clothing comes with history, with hints at bygone generations, old customs, society classes and traditions. Retro items are by their very nature old, pre-worn and used – otherwise they would simply be non-authentic and cheaper copies. But authentic items bring additional qualities, which new items simply don’t provide and that are their charm. For vintage lingerie in particular this history is a large part of the attraction. Items engender a fantasy world of the past, of items that may have handcrafted by seamstresses and painstakingly embroidered.

A classic corset or basque shows the efforts some lingerie designers went to stand out from the crowd and create items that both served a purpose and brought glamour and exotic materials to the bodies they were covering. They used all kinds of fabrics, overlays, subtle padding and shaped tucks to flatter every body form. Then they added sequins, beans, lace and trims to complete the effect. Some of these beautifully made lingerie garments are too wonderful to remain covered up or only revealed to close acquaintances in the bedroom. Many people are putting together outfits that feature an outer lingerie layer as a bold statement. You could bring a touch of glamour to an otherwise dull combo with a fabulous petticoat skirt, camisole top or lace body.

It is often the fabrics that attract people to these vintage items. Whereas other clothing items often stick to well-known material options, with lingerie there really are no rules to obey. Experimentation was common and materials that were something out of the ordinary made regular appearances. Satin and silk were popular, velvet and leather popped up, even denim and fur trimmings were seen. You would find cami tops in floral prints and pastel shades, and man-made fabrics gradually became more frequently used, such as nylon and now lycra.

Lingerie designs often indicate similar themes, some aiming to shock, some to tease revealing a little more than expected but not too much, while others used their shape and form to hint at what may lie beneath.

Whatever your preferences, such is the variety in vintage lingerie that most people will find something to like. The item may not be their normal choice of bedroom attire, but in the right mood they might just take a risk and venture to buy something a little more adventurous and if that comes with some history attached, then even better.

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