If memory serves me correctly I think that ladies underwear used to be mainly bought at Marks & Spencers (M&S). They were so good at providing said undergarments that it was rumoured the Queen herself, bought her underwear there. She may have sent someone to do it for her and I feel it may be unlikely that M&S had one of the big shield things (suppliers of good quality knickers to the Queen) outside the branch the Queen bought them in.
In my minds eye I imagine that ladies under garments at that time may well have been extensive, white and built for comfort rather than speed. They probably lasted a long time and were never hung outside on the washing line for decencies sake.
M&S may have changed in a number of ways since those days however. It may even be the case that quality has been somewhat reduced as has the amount of fabric employed in controlling ladies nether regions.
I think a company called Playtex may have made additional items, which added further support and control. I’d even be prepared to suggest that they may well have made girdles which provided 24 hour support? Perhaps? That seems an awfully long time to need support? Perhaps ladies, at that time wore them in bed? Perhaps the rather more modest required times meant that ladies wore all their clothes to bed or even more clothes to bed than they wore during the day just to ensure modesty was maintained at all times?
I am however, far from an expert on anything female. I shall offer up one piece of possibly very important advice with respect to girdles. Do not place a girdle, be it used or otherwise on an open coal fire. One of my grandmothers did this (everything went on the fire in those days) and it set fire to the chimney. There were serious concerns about the fire brigade being called (albeit from a call box five minutes away) but the shame of several large chaps arriving in a showy fashion and having to extract said foundation garment from the fire before rushing it out into the garden and hosing it down liberally on the lawn whilst the neighbours looked on demanded a more demure approach. Fire retardation was carried out by said Grandmother throwing sugar on the conflagration until it went out along with the chimney. Sugar as a fire retardant, who’d have thunk it?
Things have changed. Bras have been burned (maybe even on an open coal fire). Tights have been hoicked. Cleavages have transpired and teetering in high heels has become de rigueur, mostly but not universally just for the ladies.
Ladies underwear has become less in all meanings of the word I’m reliably informed by those who know such things. Apparently there are many purveyors of fine ladies underwear who can fit any parts into any garments, which are desirable. These cost money however, but then you’d guessed that already as, if you are a lady or a chap with a penchant for the feel of silk and lace on your buttocks as you go about your business, you’ll perhaps have handed over significant amounts of your hard earned cash to purchase articles of a frilly and unsubstantial manner for your or your significant others enjoyment. And why not!
May I take a moment here just to advise, as if it’s needed, that gentlemen should never, ever, ever, ever be encouraged or indeed allowed to venture into a “men only” pre-Christmas evening opening at a scanty panty emporium. The only outcome will be outrage. Either the purchased garments sizes will be way too big or the frillies themselves will be from the “trollop” section, surely an instant reprimand waiting to happen following a less than triumphant gift opening by wife/girlfriend/partner/lover/ on Christmas Day.
The latest purveyor of ladies underwear is of course Ms Mary Portas. Mary has previously been known as Mary Queen of shops, Mary Queen of Charity Shops and Mary Portas: Secret Shopper and has given us much improved charity shops, much improved small retail businesses and much improved ladies fashions in department stores. Well done her.
Mary’s pants brand is endearingly called Kinky Knickers. Your Granny wouldn’t have approved of a name like that! Well not in public at least. It’s a good name and the packaging reflects that sort of 40’s/50’s seaside cheekiness. It’s a bit of fun don’t you know.
Mary’s pants do not offer copious amounts of fabric or support and may not cover flesh to the degree considered appropriate in bygone years although they have more to them than a postage stamp seized piece of fabric and a lace, which seem to be fashionable at the moment. They are made in the UK from lace sourced in the UK, by UK workers. Whilst that might be unsurprising to some readers based outside the UK it is surprising for those of us who live here.
So all and all it’s a spanking wee project. Let’s see what comes of it.
Will Mary expand into bras (Kinky Knockers) or thongs (Kinky Flossing)?