The thing eventually makes November a poor choice for Vintage Underwear Month is how cold one gets without tights.
I clip on my stockings, and adjust my skirt, and one good cold wind gets up in my business and I’m just done.
So one of my solutions (more solutions to come) is a little pair of undershorts. I chose the softest pillowcase at the thrift store, washed it really well, and then turned it into a silky pair of drawers.
We all knew this day would come. I wore a corset to the grocery store.
A word about this corset: It’s not really terribly mid-century. By then, women were way past the level of cinching that had been popular in the late 19th century, and were using garments that were smaller than mine. These cinchers or “waspies” were somewhat like my corset, just shorter. But I don’t have one of those. Neither have I a “Merry Widow”, which was popular at the time. But I do have an underbust corset, which works about the same way.
This feels so good on my back. I mean it. With steel bones and even pressure, I have never been so well supported.
I could have gone quite a bit tighter, I think, but as this corset isn’t broken in, yet, that would have been uncomfortable. If I were serious about using it a lot, I’d wear it for a couple hours a day, until it conformed to my shape more. Then we can talk tightlacing.
I walked to the grocery store, the bank, and around the neighborhood for about an hour and was perfectly comfortable. At least, until it was time to run across the street, and then I had to adjust and breathe from the top of my chest.
It took a couple of layers to cover up the lines in my clothes.
I’d like people to believe that I DIY a lot of stuff because I’m inventive and scrappy.
It’s really because I’m cheap.
For example, I have wanted a flannel full slip for a long time. I had one as a little girl, but finding one at all for an adult has been hard. More than that, the ones I can find seem a little pricey.
Enter a thrift store night gown. I was wandering the aisles of my favorite neighborhood thrift store, when I saw the most comfy looking nightgown. It was quite a bit too big for me, but the flannel was heavy and soft, and pretty. It was $3. “I could make a slip out of that,” I thought to myself.
I had a red one, and a pink one, and a blue one, and a small collection of black ones. This is because I used to be an early childhood dance teacher–as in, that was how I made most of my living, and what I did with most of my days. I taught kids, mostly ages 3-6, how to plie and tendu and shuffle-hop-step.
(Side note: Don’t think for an instant that this makes me any kind of good dancer. I took a ton of dance classes in college, but I’m strictly amateur, with tight muscles and general lack of flexibility. What I am is great with little kids. This is the primary skill of teaching baby dance classes, not any kind of dance technique.)