Period Fashions Reference Library

Some Undergarments of the 1910's

Here you will find a few examples of undergarments many of which are appropriate for wear with evening dress, from a variety of publications from the year 1914 (illustrations from other years will be added shortly). During this time slender hips were desirable and corsets were worn to help achieve this silhouette. Contrary to popular opinion, all ladies did not shed their corsets during the 1910's. The brassiere also came into use at this time, as the corset was now often cut low enough that it did not fully support the bust.
The following descriptions are given for those who wish to further enhance the accuracy of their period ensembles. The correct undergarments are indispensable for achieving the proper silhouette in any period. (Note: Please be aware that these are original descriptions, so the grammar and spelling may not always be correct by modern standards)

Ladies' undergarment illustrations and original period descriptions follow:

The images are fairly small to allow them to load more quickly.
Please click on the images for a larger, more detailed, view.

Figure 1: Princess slip, left-hand model

The charming princess slip 6702 is developed as illustrated above in nainsook, and is trimmed with insertion and with edging in two widths. For a woman of medium size it will require four yards and three-eighths of material thirty-six inches wide, twelve yards and one-half of insertion, four yards and one-eighth of wide edging. A garment of this sort, slim and graceful, is almost indispensable for wear with evening or party gowns in the present modes. This design is easily fitted to the figure.
Design 6702 is a very attractive seven or eight gored princess slip or undergarment. This style of slip is excellent with the present styles, as it fits the figure closely. The design here shown closes either at the front or at the back and is in round neck or in straight outline across the top. The latter possibility is designed especially for wear with evening gowns. A straight flounce is provided, in either gathered or plaited style; or the flounce may be omitted if desired. The lower edge may be either straight or cutaway outline, and measures in the medium size about one yard and one-half.
For an undergarment of this style, nainsook, batiste, long-cloth and cambric are the best materials. For a slip, china silk, crÍpe de Chine, satin, messaline, chiffon, net or lawn may be used. Design 6702 is in nine sizes, from thirty-two to forty-eight inches bust measure, price fifteen cents.

The Delineator, February 1914
fig. 1: 1914 Princess Slips - click for larger version

Figure 1: Princess slip, right-hand model

A delightful design for a princess slip is 6696, developed as illustrated above in nainsook with insertion, edging and veining. For a woman of medium size will be required three yards of material forty-five inches wide, with five yards and one-half of insertion and four yards and three-quarters of edging. Other materials are batiste, long-cloth and cambric, or, for dressier purposes, crÍpe de Chine, China silk, messaline, satin, net, chiffon, mull and lawn. Hand- embroidery may be very effectively used, with or without insertion and edging.
One of the most satisfactory models for a princess slip is the five-gored design 6696. Its lines are so slender that it makes no awkward bulkiness under a dress of the newest style. It is very simple in construction, so that there would be no difficulty in making it up in short time. The neck may be in round outline for ordinary purposes, but to wear under and evening gown the top is cut in straight outline. At the bottom it may be finished in several different ways. A straight flounce, accordion plaited, side plaited or gathered, may be attached, but it is equally pretty without the flounce. The lower edge is either straight or in the curved outline which is so popular in skirts that it is perforce adopted in underskirts too. In the medium size; the lower edge measures about one yard and one-half. Such a design as this lends itself to hand-embroidery, which may be as elaborate as desired.
Design 6696 may be obtained in seven sizes, from thirty-two to forty-four inches bust measure, price fifteen cents.

The Delineator, February 1914
fig. 1: 1914 Princess Slips - click for larger version

Figure 2: Tango Knicker.

B. Altman & Co. is selling for $16.50 a new tango knicker in crÍpe de Chine and shadow lace. The lace frill is mounted over accordion plaited crÍpe de Chine and attached at the knee is both practical and decorative.

Harper's Bazar, March 1914
fig. 2: 1914 Tango Nickers - click for larger version

Figure 3: W. B. Nuform Corsets, Advertisement.

AT HOME, ABROAD, AFIELD, AT THE DANCE are the very best in FIT, STYLE, COMFORT AND WEAR. If you have never worn W. B. Nuform Corsets, TRY THEM-you will obtain the utmost in a corset, assuring a superbly-fitting gown.
"a model for every Figure at a price for every purse." $1.00 and up.
INSIST ON W. B. NUFORM CORSETS-If your dealer cannot supply you, send us style number, size and price. Illustrated catalogue free.
W. B. DANCE BOOK SENT for dealer's name and 2c stamp. Teaches by illustrations and descriptions how to dance the popular Maxixe, Hesitation and One-Step.

Ask to See These New Fall Models.
W. B. Nuform Style 464
For average figures. Open hip; medium bust; flesh color or white coutil. Price $1.50.
W. B. Nuform Style 492
For average Figures. Low bust; daintily figured pink or white broche; richly trimmed. price $3.
W. B. Nuform Style 472
(See Illustration) For medium or well-developed figures. Defined waist medium bust, flesh color or white coutil, attractively trimmed. Price $2.00.

W. B. Elasto Reduso Corsets give well-developed figures slender lines. Insure needed support to weak backs. ELASTINE GORES give comfort in any position. Coutil and batiste, $3 and $5.

The Designer, October 1914
fig. 2: 1914 Tango Nickers - click for larger version

fig. 2: 1914 Tango Nickers - click for larger version
Figure 4: Bien Jolie Corsets, Advertisement.

Paul Poiret writes:


Paris, November 18, 1913.

Messers. Benjamin & Johnes, Newark, N.J.
   I take pleasure in advising that in recollection of our delightful conversations on the Lusitania, while coming back from America, I am sending you two models for corsets; also two models for "soutien gorge" (bust supporters), which I have specially designed for you and which correspond to the latest cry in fashions just now.
   I am quite sure that Corsets and Brassieres worked out in the marvelous tissue (Grecian-Treco) of which you have the exclusive sale and distribution, will meet with very unusual favor. For my part, I will have them worn by my mannequins, and I am convinced that they will at once be adopted by all my patrons. I feel sure they will meet with the same success among Americans.
   I am delighted to have had the opportunity to be of some service to you and I beg you to accept my friendliest remembrances and my kindest regards.

(signed) PAUL POIRET.
Harper's Bazar, March 1914

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last updated 24 jul 2014/csb