Now that we’ve discussed bullet bras, girdles, and stockings, there is one more element in creating the perfect vintage foundation to your garments: a slip. I know many ladies who do not wear slips, and I’ll openly admit, I did not start wearing a slip on a regular basis until a few years ago, but now I can hardly image going out without wearing one.
Slips serve several purposes, the most important being protection. Slips serve as a layer to protect garments from perspiration, and reduce the amount of times an garment must be cleaned, therefore furthering the longevity of the item. I also find getting dressed is easier when wearing a slip. Slips create less friction than your skin, thus garments slip or pull on easier, lessening the strain put on garments when dressing. Additionally, slips can create a level of comfortably. A slip can reduce, if not prevent, the itchy discomfort produced by some fabrics, such as wool. Slips also act as a smoothing factor. Bras and girdles can create some bulk, however, slips work to smooth them out. I also like slips when I go out shopping. I like being able to have a plain top or bottom when trying on separates.
For the most part, slips fall into one of two types – full slips and half slips. Full slips are built like a dress.
They are perfect to go under dresses, as well as top and skirt combinations. White slips are lovely and the most practical, but I particularly like colored slips for my vintage sheer blouses that I wear during summer.
Half slips are akin to a skirt, with elastic in the waistband to stay up. These are nice for when you are wearing a top or dress that is strapless or has a unique neckline that would show the slip’s straps.
I recommend purchasing vintage slips for several reasons. First is that vintage slips are of significantly better quality. Not to mention, they were made under better labor conditions. Additionally, vintage slips are simply designed better. All of the vintage slips I have come across are cut with shape in mind, and have curves, unlike contemporary slips, which are cut straight, creating more bulk, and tend to get stuck in zippers.
Vintage slips can be found nearly anywhere and everywhere. From thrift stores to high-end vintage shops, such as AlexSandra’s. She has a great selection of vintage slips in a range of sizes in both her regular shop and her bridal shop.