Betty Draper strips down in Mad Men‘s season 1, episode 5 to a gorgeous white bra slip. What’s a bra slip, you may ask? Now I’m sure you know what a bra is and what a slip is, so a bra + a slip = a bra slip! You’ll usually find them today under the name “Shaping slips” or in the Bridal lingerie and/or Shapewear section of lingerie shops (and websites).
Bra slips are made for wearing under dresses like a normal slip, but these feature support in the bust. The bust uplift cups (on all-in-one corselettes) were first introduced in 1933, but did not become common until 1943. Modern bra slips or “Shaping slips” as Maidenform and others began calling them in 1975, are tight, clingy (think Spanx) and much, much shorter than their vintage counterparts (like Betty’s below).
Betty Draper could also be wearing an all-in-one corselette or girdle slip under a long half slip. Or a torsolette/basque with a long half slip over it. I’m not a fashion student, so let’s just say she’s wearing a bra slip.
Bra slips were a sixties hit for short skimpy dresses. This new hybrid was an underwired cleavage bra with a short mini nylon slip all in one. Tights, panties, bra slip and your dress on top and that was it. In the early 21st century the bra slip made a reappearance in stores such as Marks and Spencer.
Why Wear a Bra Slip or For Which Occasion Should You Wear a Bra Slip?
Women commonly wear a bra slip under a dress which is too revealing or too tight for normal underwear. Many times a shear dress or a dress made of light or thin fabric will show the lines of a normal bra and panty set. Since the bra slip is one piece, there are no lines to show through the dress. I believe Betty was wearing a pretty white formal dress in this Mad Men episode, hence the need for a bra slip.
Where to Buy a Bra Slip
I spent some time researching where to get a true bra slip, instead of a fashionable chemise and found this beautiful shaping slip by Body Wrap.
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, there’s the Miss Mary Bra Slip found on Simply Yours. (Miss Mary is a Swedish lingerie company, started in 1959).
The Charnos Multiway Bra Slip is a blush nude version of Betty’s (comes in black too). I’m in love with the lace cups. They do come with straps if you need them, but they look like they can hold on their own.
Need something longer? Try this:
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