The Hollywood Vasarette

On my first day of vintage shopping in Louisville, a woman recommended that I buy a vintage slip to go with my dress. “It really does help the dress lay better on your figure,” said the woman with a southern drawl wearing head-to-toe mid-century ensemble. I didn’t listen to her then because, honestly, I was a little grossed out by the idea of wearing someone else’s old undergarments. But as I continued collecting vintage dresses, I realized there might have been some truth to what she said. Half-slips did not work with many of my vintage dresses, and all the new full slips I could find in stores seemed to be designed for women who wanted to forget, rather than celebrate, the fact they had curves. So I began to keep my eyes open for slips on my vintage clothing hunts. While most vintage shops will have a small rack of slips hiding somewhere in their store, it can still be difficult to locate the right length and size (especially if you are looking for one with a built-in bra). But today at Nitty Gritty on Barret Avenue I hit the jackpot and fell in love with two beautiful Hollywood Vassarette slips.

The Hollywood Vassarette was created in 1958 as brand-child of Munsingwear. You may be more familiar with their Penguin labeled golf polos, but Mr. Munsing is the guy we have to thank for inventing itch-free underwear. His invention of the silk/wool blended thread, and several other patents lead the company to become one of the largest and most fashionable undergarment producers in the country by the 1960’s. Their slips serve as a perfect case in point for the company’s developed history of stylish functionability. Here, garment layering necessity is matched with curve hugging support and lace trimming, so that it is no wonder that Mad Men women often woke up the next morning with their slips still on.


Written by Camille Verboom. Contributor, mid-century vintage lover, and shopping professional.


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