Vintage lingerie: How to style a 1950s vintage lingerie look

What Katie Did  - Maitresse Collection - Bullet Bra and Girdle 

What Katie Did - Maitresse Collection - Bullet Bra and Girdle 

In this post I am going to cover the key pieces that make up a vintage lingerie look, so you will know how to dress the part of a pin up, or create the foundation for a 1950s fashion look.  

During the 1940s and 50s lingerie was used to create a specific silhouette. This silhouette had a pointed bust, a wasp waist and accentuated, yet controlled curves. A full circle petticoat was added to create volume at the hemline when worn under a full circle skirt. 

Here are my key pieces you need to create a vintage lingerie look: 

Overwire bra or  bullet bra: 

Bettie Paige Overwire Bra from  Playful Promises

Bettie Paige Overwire Bra from Playful Promises

Bullet Bra - A key piece for creating a vintage lingerie looks starts with the bra.  The pointed bust that was popular during the 1950s was achieved by using a bullet bra. The bullet bra creates the appearance of a conical, angular bust. 

Overwire Bra - The overwire bra also creates a pointed bust and as you can visualise from the name, the wire sits across the bust, not underneath like a modern day bra. 

High Waist Knickers or Girdle: 

High waist Knickers - Curve enhancing high waist knickers create shape and give support and comfort. Choose a pair with suspender straps already attached to clip on your stockings (sometimes called panty girdles). 

Girdle - A girdle is a foundation garment to give support and contour to your hips and waist. The garment is usually made from nylon and lycra. A girdle has no gusset so you will need to wear underwear underneath the girdle. Girdles have suspender suspender clips to hold up stockings. Look for a girdle with 6 metal suspender clips for a true replication of the era. 

Secrets in Lace  - Dita Von Teese collection of modern Nylon Stockings 

Secrets in Lace - Dita Von Teese collection of modern Nylon Stockings 


Nylon hosiery - 100% Nylon hosiery was worn in the 40s and 50s with a garter belt or girdle to keep them in place. A good garter belt will have at least 6 suspender clips to keep the stockings in place. When Lycra became available in the 1960s this was added to stockings to give them stretch and make them more form fitting than Nylon alone. Nylon hosiery has a very sheer and luxurious appearance and will give your vintage look the finishing touch.  

Full circle nylon petticoat - A nylon full circle petticoat was a key addition to a 1950s look. At the time it was used underneath a skirt or dress to create volume at the hemline.  


Dita Von Teese
Website: House of lingerie (also available at various retailers globally) 
If you are looking for modern style meets classic glamour in your lingerie, then Dita Von Teese is your go to brand. Designs that hark back to the golden age of glamour and do not compromise on vintage details.  

Doll House Bettie
Doll House Bettie stock a limited range of authentic vintage lingerie. 

Dotties Delights
Offering a great size range and custom alterations, Dotties Delights is a great place to check out vintage pinup meets modern glamour. 

Kiss Me Deadly
Described as a "retro lingerie, swim and style brand for femme fatales" Kiss Me Deadly has a wide selection of killer vintage inspired designs. 

Playful Promises
Playful Promises have a huge range of vintage inspired lingerie and swimwear and cater to a range of sizes. 

Secrets In Lace
Your stop for nylon stockings, including a collection by Dita Von Teese. 

What Katie Did
What Katie Did stocks a great range of vintage inspired designs, including girdles, bullet bras, corsets and cinchers. 

Dotties Delights  - Sheer Show collection with Miss Mosh

Dotties Delights - Sheer Show collection with Miss Mosh