Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sun Fun Frock SOS

Speaking of fun sun frocks, here's a sneak peak at an early birthday present I bought myself (birthday's not till March, but who's counting? Also, so much for my resolution to make more dresses. Oops). I do have some questions relating to logistics of underpinnings: what does one wear to keep "things" in place up front? As I look at 30s backless dresses I wonder: were 30s undergarments made with low backs? Were there adjustable brassieres like there are now? Anyone know? In brief, this is a virtual message in a bottle; an SOS for help with how to best wear this life preserver dress without the "buoys" sinking. Har har :)

1930s summer dress1


1930s summer dress 2

7 comments:

Q's Daydream said...

hehehe! such a great dress! i wish I could help in the bra department, but this girl has nothing to hold up, lol! not bra needed!!! btw, when my 250th sale comes i get another special dress ;o)

Some Like it Vintage.com said...

That is such a lovely dress! Makes me think of booking a cruise...

hello from a fellow canadian in toronto!

1930s Girls About Town said...

That is a really wonderful dress. I just adore it. I’ve seen 30s advertisements for plunging-backed all-in-one girdles/corseletes made for wear with the era’s “exposed vertebrae” dresses. Ellie Laubner says in her book "Collectible Fashions of the Turbulent 1930s" (which I drool over daily) that “the slinky backless gowns of the late 20s and early 30s were often worn with no undergarments at all (except perhaps a band aid…”). She also mentions the harter style that came out about 1935, and notes that it was often necessary to go without a brassirse with this style. Jean Harlow famously went around without a bra with her casual clothes – not everyone could get away with that, though! Most 30s ladies wouldn't have worn a sleeveless dress out and about in Town, but at a resort or on vacation, could be more casual - bras were cast to the wind so to speak! I don't need a lot of added support myself, so depending on the “sturdiness” of the fabric, I can generally get away without anything; alternatively with a filmy white evening gown, I used one of those “adhesive bra” thingies from Bare Necessities (beats a band-aid, and it worked).

reilly said...

I'm with the commenter above me! While I'm sure there might have been the option for a proper undergarment, I bet most ladies went without! You can see it in so many pictures.

That dress is wonderful - I love how it has a nautical print with a spin (no red or blue, etc.). I really want an occasion so I can buy (a pattern, make it) and wear a fancy backless 30s gown!

Lemondrop Marie said...

Love the sweet print! You will be quite fetching in it!
Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
January Charmed bracelet giveaway!

Miss Rayne said...

Naughty nauticals - lovely!

BaronessVonVintage said...

Q: You know I'm always around to help you out where "special dresses are concerned" wink wink nudge nudge

Some Like It Vintage: HULLO!!!! I'll have to get your expert advice on the best places in Ontario to sleuth vintage clothing (if you don't mind sharing)

1930s Girls: WOW. As always, I am humbled and enlightened by your deco-era erudition.
Ditto, Reilly...thanks for your comments

Miss Rayne: ;) an alliterative gal after my own heart

Lemondrop: thanks, sweetness!
.....Braless Starlets: It's all making sense now. I could tell Jean Harlow and Myrna Loy among others were often going about without any really restrictive bras or girdles, but maybe I was just hopeful that their "perkiness" wasn't completely the result of nature. I thought surely there was some sort of bustier at work at the very least!? haha. Anyway, I am not so lucky (or brave) due to cups that runneth over just a smidge for most 30s gowns, so unless the bodice of the dress is fitted enough, I'll need some uplift. I've got one of those corselettes, but I loathe the idea of wearing it in the sweltering summer months (just like the women of the 30s mentioned by 1930s Girls About Town). Maybe some of those adhesive dealies will work...
I'm going to do a bit more research and will report back. Thanks again for your comments!