Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Feminine Differential - Is My Slip Showing?


Modesty be darned! Women's slip sales are slipping

Liz Taylor
"Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" 1958

There are few garments that cry femininity better than the slip.  It is an in-between look that is not exactly an "unmentionable" under garment and something you would not wear in public. 

 I remember my mother getting dress for church on Sunday and having a slip on as she completed her hair and makeup.  I tried not to stare but was fascinated by the look.  After putting her dress on I remember my mother asking, "Is my slip showing?"  

Whenever I would sneak into her closet it was always my try-on favorite. 

Getting back to Liz: I think she probably did more for slip sales than any lingerie advertising agency could dream of. Can you imagine the slip sales after her appearance in a lacy full slip in her 1958 movie, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Overnight slips became dramatic, provocative and sexy. That was not the last time either. 

Then she did it again in 1960> The movie *BUtterfield 8 and more seductive slips. Liz again showed us lingerie can be fabulous and not just meant for under a dress.  Thank you Liz.


Liz in "BUtterfield 8"

Amazon describes "The Skip" this way:



Here is great article from USA Today by Maria Puente

July 7, 2017

In the 1940s through the 1960s, you could look in any woman's underwear drawer and find one: A slip. Silky, lacy, sexy. Think Elizabeth Taylor in her Oscar-winning role in Butterfield 8.

 And there was Rita Hayworth's picture in a lacy slip from 1941, which helped make her a top pin-up girl for GIs during World War II.

Not familiar with those iconic images? Well, therein lies the problem: Who wears slips nowadays? And, more to the point, who buys them?

The global lingerie industry, which includes bras and panties and a dozen other product categories, totals more than $28 billion annually and is growing. But no one seems to have any data on sales of slips, or if they do, they don't want to talk about it. Victoria's Secret, the leading retailer of underwear, with as much as 60% of the U.S. market, declined to discuss their sales data with USA TODAY.

Available on Amazon

But it seems clear from the testimony of celebrity stylists, fashion historians, manufacturers and retailers that sales of slips for their original purpose have been slipping, and for some time.

"Slips are not really worn anymore," says Cheryl Paradis , account executive for Mapale, a Miami-based manufacturer of lingerie. "It probably started in the late '70s and early '80s when people stopped layering and became a little more comfortable showing skin. Back then if you were wearing a skirt or a dress, you were wearing a slip. Nowadays, it's not really done anymore. "

So what happened? Fashion historian Colleen Hill, curator of costume and accessories at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, says many women stopped wearing full slips during the 1960s and into the 1970s as hems hiked up and half-slips, camisoles and teddies became easier and more wearable choices.

"The elimination of the slip also coincided with the greater acceptance of the bare or 'natural' body," Hill says. "Sheer, unstructured bras and slips were often all that was worn under clothing. The slip made somewhat of a comeback during the 1980s, but it has not been considered an essential undergarment for decades."

"I feel like I had to re-educate a whole generation on how to wear a slip," O'Brien says. "I find that women are still wearing slips because everything drapes better with a slip, it helps with opacity when you’re dressing for the office and it’s comfortable."

Her campaign has been a success, she says, demonstrated during New York Fashion Week when she spotted a woman at a restaurant wearing a black Commando slip as a dress.

"There are no rules in fashion anymore," she says. "There was a time when undergarments were very private and nobody spoke about what they were wearing beneath their clothes, but they are now visibly wearing those pieces on the outside."


*Anyone else remember why the "B" and "U" (both) would be capitalized in the movie title "BUtterfiled 8"?  I was "GLobe 4".  



  1. Interesting, that today's post is "Is My Slip Showing?" Your post, yesterday, about business attire becoming more casual these days could be titled: "Is My Show Slipping?" :-)

    I do wear slips under dresses and skirts, usually. Oftentimes, they are of the control variety, worn to smooth out the bumps and lumps into a more flattering figure. Not that Liz needed one, herself, but many women used to wear some sort of foundation garment (girdle) under their slips. A slip made of Spandex is a two-fer.I totally agree with the statement from the article that "everything drapes better with a slip, it helps with opacity when you’re dressing for the office and it’s comfortable." Apparently, women were comfortable just wearing the slip alone, as I remember my mother freely walking around the house in her slip, and even the other mothers in the neighborhood were not shy about it when I was visiting at their houses. I do remember one occasion when I was visiting a friend, and the mother, not knowing I was in the house, came out of her bedroom in just girdle and bra. She was so embarrassed, while I was just fascinated. Little did she know that I also dressed that way when I thought I was alone in the house, although I would have been much more embarrassed than she, had I been caught doing so - even if I'd had a slip on.

    These days of lockdown give little opportunity for getting dressed up. I've become a mostly-jeans and T-shirt kind of gal. So, yes, my show is definitely slipping!

  2. You most certainly picked one of the most sexy scenes in all moviedom!
    At least one of MY favorites.
    Full skirts, half skirts and camisoles-- you can never have enough varieties, colors or lengths. I can never get the skirt and slip length to align.
    A friends father worked for 'ma Bell' at this exchange.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful article on slips. You are so right that the slip just cries femininity. For me, the slip was the first ladies garment I tried on and I loved it.

    Now, coming out as gender fluid, I always wear a slip under my skirts and dresses. It is a shame that slips are out of style. I hope they make a comeback.

    - Christina

  4. As a man I love wearing full slips