UnderFashions Meant To Be Seen

Posted by Laura
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Lilac stretch top and bikini pants to wear sunning on the roof. Or, as here, under such clingery as the lavender crewshirt—a natural itself for a pair of summer pants. Lilac camisole top and bikini from The Sea Dream Collection by Maidenform. Shirt and bikini by Tru Balance.

'Exposed: A History of Lingerie' recently opened at the Museum at FIT with a companion book by Colleen Hill and Valerie Steele to be published in September. Looking at the connections between underwear and outerwear—both in the sense of the underwear building the shape on which the main garments sit and also in the influence of lingerie styling on the appearance of other clothes—the exhibition analyzes both hard (corsets, bustles, and structured bras) and soft (slips, nightgowns and knickers) lingerie styles from the 1700s to today.

This editorial from a 1971 Harper's Bazaar is a truly vibrant take on the idea of "underwear-as-outerwear". Full of brightly coloured bodysuits, bras and panties, the styles are sleek, fun and full of an easy sexiness.

All photos by Chris von Wangenheim for Harper's Bazaar, March 1971.


(L) Bright bands of argyle, stretching round a step-in bra and bikini to sun soak on the patio or, as shown, wrapped in a cape when breezes blow. ny day, tuck them under brief T-shirts and pants. Bra and bikini by Peter Pan. jersey cape: Sant'Angelo Knits for Grapevine. Laced-up tank suit in a wave of flag colors, for the clingiest shape under the sun. Or for stepping out with trousers. By John Kloss for Cira. (R) The navy v-neck body suit: a little bit of a brevity for sampling the sun on the terrace—or to flip a skirt over for a stroll. By Van Raalte. Wrap skirt by Santos Santiago. Navy halterneck body suit (inset)—for Sunday morning sunshine and the paper on a bit of balcony. When friends come for coffee—voila! By Gossard-Artemis. Ribbed wraparound skirt by Sant'Angelo for Grapevine.


Outright charmers: Lively little body skimmers that do more than hide-and-shape. They set their sights on the great outdoors.


(L) Midriff barers—little ribbed knit tops and pants in tomato red with lacy touches, to lounge in on their own or to go wittily to a summer party with your knickers. By Formfit Rogers. Knickers by Littlesticks. (R) Body-blazing bras and bikinis—bright enough for you to catch all eyes at the sunplaces. Wear them, too, and feel great about it, under your clingy summer things. By Kayser Perma-Lift. Santos Santiago skirt.

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