What's Under That Vintage Dress?

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I post pictures of gorgeous vintage clothing here on my blog and on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds daily.  The comments and questions I receive most often deal with the tiny waists or fit of the dresses shown.  In our modern world, where most of our clothing is styled to be loose or made with stretch fabrics, we find it difficult to relate to wearing a dress that molds to the body like this. The answer, of course, is what she is wearing under that gown.

Before the late 1960s, every woman wore control undergarments, whether they be girdles, corsets, or an all-in-one, as shown here.  Every woman, every day.  You just can't get the look and fit presented in that first photo without some kind of foundation garments. Period. 

Red dress with cape by Pauline Trigere.  All-in-one corselet by Warner's. Both photos from a 2-page ad for Warner's in Harper's Bazaar, 1961.