Intimate apparel has always been a key aspect of fashion, commended for being both modest and erotic, as designer Chantal Thomass explains, “The essence and attitude of lingerie is all in suggestion.” The history of lingerie is diverse and fascinating, uncovering the evolution of the definition of sexy through the decades, yet retro influences of today’s underpinnings reveal our nostalgia for burlesque undergarments.
It’s never been easy to pin down the qualities of sexy lingerie, but the corsets and garters showcase favorable opinions towards old-school designs and our desire to channel Dita Von Teese in and out of the boudoir. Of course, there is always the option of buying the garments designed by the Queen of Burlesque herself through fashion e-shop Lyst, but there are loads of other vintage-inspired brands with the following intimates that can help bring out your inner sexy.
The Bullet Bra
The conical shaped bra made iconic by Madonna in her Blond Ambition World Tour first came about around WWII when the shortage of fabrics brought about the ‘make-do and mend’ campaign, affecting women’s outerwear and underwear. Inspired by military terminology, the bullet bra offers support and protection with less material, a style which Dita is often spotted wearing.
The Garter Belt
According to the Vintage Fashion Guild, the garter belt was born as a sexier alternative to the girdle, originally made to smoothen out and control the body, as well as hold up stockings. Although the girdle was made as a comfortable version of the corset offered good support, some women didn’t like the coverage and found that the garter belt worked just as well in suspending their stockings. But both accessories are alluring in their own way.
The S-Curve Corset
Victorian corsets were made to accentuate the womanly shape, cinching the waist and arching her back to draw attention to her breasts and curvaceous hips. Elle describes the corsets from that era as extremely constricting, however constructed with intricate designs that exhibited their wealth. Thankfully, many of the corsets these days are not as restricting, all the while still giving you those beautiful curves.